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From a miniature by Mrs. Frank Townsend. 
Exhibited in the Royal Academy, 1915. 

58844 THE 





EDITED BY 56844 




First published 



NEVER was such a band of cricketers gathered 
for any tour as has assembled to do honour 
to the greatest of all players in the present Memorial 
Biography. That such a volume should go forth 
under the auspices of the Committee of M.C.C. is in 
itself unique in the history of the game, and that such 
an array of cricketers, critics and enthusiasts should 
pay tribute to its finest exponent has no parallel in 
any other branch of sport. In itself this presents 
a noble monument of what W. G. Grace was, a 
testimony to his prowess and to his personality. 

The initiative is due to Sir Home Gordon, who 
conceived the scale on which the work has been 
planned, wrote over five hundred letters and had 
nearly one hundred personal interviews. On learn- 
ing that the Committee of M.C.C. desired to be 
associated with the book, he handed over all the 
material he had collected and accepted their invita- 
tion to be co-editor with Lord Hawke and Lord 
Harris. Of that triumvirate he has been the active 
partner, the others proving critical, advisory and 
helpful in every possible way. 

Something must be added about the unusual form 
that this Memorial Biography has been allowed to 
take. It was felt that the testimony of those who 
had played with and loved W. G. Grace would be 
of far more interest and value to contemporaries and 
'posterity than a categorical and formal monograph. 
The human note, it is hoped, will proclaim what 
manner of cricketer the champion was. The editors 
are conscious that by adopting this policy a certain 


amount of divergence of opinion will find expression 
in these pages and a certain amount of repetition 
prove unavoidable, however scrupulously cut down, 
whilst some overlapping must occur when the valued 
reminiscences of a comrade in big games may extend 
over some thirty years of friendship. These draw- 
backs to the method have been recognized from the 
outset, but it has been felt that the cumulative 
effect of the testimony immeasurably outweighed 
them because the desire of the editors is to provide 
the impression of what manner of cricketer W. G. 
was and that is what the reader of the younger 
generation will want to know. 

There is nothing in the following pages about the 
private life of Grace. Alike as son, as brother, as 
husband, and as father, in every relationship of 
family existence he was exemplary. Those cherished 
memories are not for the general reader, because the 
honoured privacy of his domesticity has nothing to 
do with the public career of the great sportsman. 

Too much emphasis cannot be laid on the extra- 
ordinary desire to be helpful shown by countless 
correspondents. Not only have those who were 
appealed to given of their best, but hundreds who 
were personally unknown to the editors volunteered 
assistance which was often valuable and would have 
been far more freely drawn upon if the present 
volume could have been permitted to attain double 
its size. The severest restrictions have had to be 
enforced, but they in no way diminish the feeling of 
gratitude, which is hereby all too inadequately 
expressed. If any whose help has been utilized do 
not find their names enumerated in the lists in 
this preface, will they accept thanks with the assur- 
ance that the omission is inadvertent ? It must be 
added that a number sent in the same anecdotes 
which were contributed by various writers in their 

To many who will read these pages, the memory 


of the late Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane will be as 
dear as that of Grace himself, and the following 
letter in his own handwriting written less than a 
month before his death in his ninety-second year 
must not be omitted. 

November 6, 1915. 

I was glad to see that you had undertaken the 
task of writing the Memorial of W. G. It was 
natiral that you should ask me to send you some 
notes of him, as I had been so much connected with 
him. I had indeed proposed to do so before I 
received your letter, but I find I must abandon the 
task. I have been suffering for some time with 
weakness of my heart, and in the last few days it 
has attacked my head and filled it with porridge 
or some deleterious compound so much so that I 
feel qiite incompetent to bring my senses together 
to write anything of interest on so important a 
subject as a memorial of the finest cricketer that 
ever existed, so simple, straightforward and some- 
what eccentric in character. Please therefore excuse 
me and accept my best wishes for the success of your 

Yours truly, 


The editors realize that the loss of Sir Spencer's 
recollec:ions of W. G. leaves an irreparable gap. 
They were fortunate to secure those of the late Lord 
Alverstcne, of the late C. E. Green, and of the late 
Henry Perkins before those three so eminently 
associated with M.C.C. also passed away. Horan, 
the " Felix " of Australian criticism, was also 
invited, but death reached him before the letter 
could have arrived at the Antipodes. Owing to his 
unexpected departure for India, the Jam Saheb of 



Nawanagar could not fulfil his promise to furnish 
Ms reminiscences, and to extract a lengthy com- 
munication from him when in his own State is even 
more difficult than it was to dislodge him from the 
wicket when in his prime. 

The warmest appreciative thanks must be ex- 
pressed to each of the following who have furnished 
-extended reminiscences of W. G. : 

H.R.H. the late Prince Christian of Schleswig- 


Ashley - Cooper, 

F. S. 

Beldam, G. W. 
Burls, C. W. 
Carter, Canon 

E. S. 

Clarke, C. C. 
Cobham, Lord 
Croome, A. C. 


Francis, C. K. 
Gale, P. G. 


H. D. G. 

Lubbock, Alfred 
Lucas, A. P. 

Canon Edward 
Miles, R. F. 
Page, H. V. 
Paravicini, P. J. 


Pardon, S. H. 
Rice, R. W. 
Robinson, C. J. 
Sewell, E. H. D. 
Shuter, J. 
Spofforth, F. R. 
Studd, C. T. 
Taylor, A D. 
Thornton, C. I. 
Walker, R. D. 
Warner, P. F. 
Webbe, A. J. 

Grateful acknowledgments are also tendered to 

Bell, Canon 
Bradley, A. G. 
Brown, Ernest 
Coxon, H. 
Ferris, S. 
Hall, James 
Hamilton, A. H. 
Hawkins, Rev. 

Howard, R. E. 

Leigh, T. A. 

McArthur, J. A. 

Pearson - Greg- 
ory, T. S. 

Riddell, Sir 

Rogers, J. A. R. 

Shaw, Arthur 

Scott, Dave 

Tathan, Canon 
Thomscn, H. A. 


Townsend, C. L. 
Warrer, A. 
Warren, Sir 

Whitetead, Rev. 

A. Goram 

To F. S. Ashley-Cooper a deep debt is due apart 
from his important contributions, for he was good 
enough to allow many points to be referred to him, 



and he also read through the proofs, making invalu- 
able suggestions. A. D. Taylor generously put his 
fine library of works on cricket freely at the disposi- 
tion of the editors, and others who took exceptional 
pains to assist were C. K. Francis and C. I. Thornton. 
Two who by tact and help rendered valued service 
in the early stages were Sir George Riddell and 
C. L. Townsend, whilst the Secretary of M.C.C., 
F. E. Lacey, proffered all the aid in his power. 
To the following indebtedness cannot be omitted : 

Bassett, R. G. 
Bennett, H. 

Blyth, H. M. 
Brice, B. 
Briscoe, W. A. 
Buckingham, C. 


Chandler, J. H. 
Chiesman, C. S. 
Clarke, H. H. 
Cobbold, C. S. 
Colman, Sir 

Cox, F. 
Davis, Alfred 
Disney, T. 
Dorehill, Major 
Duckit, F. 
Gibson, H. 
Greaves, Miss G. 
Griffiths, H. 
Hardwick, J. H. 
Hilder, T. P. 
Hope, P. H. 
Homer, C.. E. 
Hullett, R. 



Huxham, J. W. 
Jay, J. W. 
Jones, W. H. 

Lewis, Mrs. 
Lodge, W. G. 
Mclvor, R. 
McPherson, J. 


Miles, J. A. H. 
Millard, A. 
Mitchell, Rev. 

Muller, J. 
Myers, T. 
Noakes, W. F. 
Norris-Elye, L. 

C R 

Orlebar, B. O. C. 
Overton, J. H. 
Parker, R. J. 
Pearson, J. H. 
Preston, H. J. 
Ramsay, B. M. 
Ratcliffe, E. A. 

Raynor, Rev. G. 

Rhys - Jones, 

Rev. E: 
Sampson, S. N. 
Sankey, C. 
Sawyer, C. J. 
Sherburn, T. 
Shuter, L. A. 
Smith, C. J. 
Stacy, Rev. P. 
Tandy, J. H. 
Taylor, T. Pryce 
Taylor, T. L. 
Thomas, Mrs. 
Villiers, Mrs. 
Warren, H. 
Ward, C. S. M. 
Watson, J. 
Weidemann, C. 

H. R. 

Wells, L. S. 
Williams, F. W. 
Williamson, D. 

ville, H. 
Wright, C. W. 
Wright, Ernest 


It has proved impossible to trace all sources of 
information, especially as many were culled from 
scrapbooks kindly loaned, but wherever ascertainable 
permission has been asked and freely given. The 
warmest acknowledgments must be given to Messrs. 
Wisden, for the annual Cricketers 1 Almanack has 
not only proved invaluable, but permission has 
been accorded for the article by Lord Harris and 
many of the statistics by F. S. Ashley-Cooper. 
Grateful thanks are due to Lord Burnham for allow- 
ing the reproduction of the letter from W. G. Grace 
to the Daily Telegraph ; to Mr. John Murray for the 
use of portions of the article in the Quarterly Review 
contributed by Sir Home Gordon ; to H.R.H. 
Princess Christian for permission to use an extract 
from the Life of Prince Christian Victor ; to Messrs. 
Blackwood for leave to quote from Old, English 
Cricketers ; to Messrs. Cassell from Alfred Shaw, 
Cricketer ; and to Mr. Arrowsmith from Kings of 
Cricket. The proprietors of Punch most kindly 
permitted the whole of the noble tribute to W. G. 
by E. V. Lucas to be quoted, and the editor of the 
Spectator was good enough to allow the lengthy 
contribution by Canon Lyttelton to be used. It has 
not been feasible to trace any owner of copyright 
in the defunct Lillywhite annuals, green and red, or 
permission would have been solicited. 

With regard to the illustrations, our selection had 
to be made from an enormous number and from a 
host of suggestions. Mr. G. W. Beldam generously 
allowed the reproduction of Mrs. Frank Townsend's 
miniature, which was exhibited in the Royal 
Academy, and allowed a selection from his photo- 
graphs, acknowledgment being due to Messrs. Mac- 
millan for leave to extract from Great Batsmen. 
Messrs. Mawson, Swan & Mawson gave leave for the 
insertion of a copy of the engraving from the portrait 
by the late Mr. Stuart Wortley which hangs in the 
pavilion at Lord's. The Committee of M.C.C. allowed 



their collection to be drawn upon, the late H.R.H. 
Prince Christian presented some photos, and there 
are a couple in the volume the owners of which are 
not traced, but who are hereby warmly thanked. 








Bart . . .13 


V THE YOUNG CHAMPION. With Reminiscences by 

VI APPROACHING His PRIME. With Reminiscences 

by R. F. MILES 45 

VII A YEAR OF TRIUMPH. With Reminiscences by 

C. K. FRANCIS and C. E. GREEN ... 57 

Reminiscences by C. K. FRANCIS and ALFRED 
LUBBOCK ....... 74 

With Reminiscences by C. K. FRANCIS and 

scences by C. I. THORNTON and A. J. WEBBE 107 

XI THE NEW ERA. With Reminiscences by CANON 





XII TESTS AND TRIUMPHS. With Reminiscences by 
C. W. BURLS . . . . . 144 

XIII MATURE PROFICIENCY. With Reminiscences by 


P. J. DE PARAVICINI, and BARLOW . . 166 

XIV A WONDERFUL REVIVAL. With Reminiscences 

by H. V. PAGE and C. I. THORNTON . .189 

scences by C. C. CLARKE . . . .209 


by A. C. M. CROOME and C. J. ROBINSON . 223 

and P. F. WARNER 248 

CRICKET. With Reminiscences by F. S. ASHLEY- 
COOPER, HIRST and LILLEY . . . 271 


SEWELL. With Reminiscences by P. G. GALE 
and G. W. BELDAM 300 

miniscences by H.R.H. PRINCE CHRISTIAN, etc. 318 

FRANCIS, etc 330 




INDEX OF NAMES . . .... . 381 


Miniature by Mrs. F. Townsend . . . Frontispiece 


Forward Push Stroke ....... 16 

The English Twelve in Canada 86 

Back Stroke 112 

Square Cut ......... 128 

Pull-Drive 160 

Pencil Sketch by T. Walter Wilson, R.I. . . .177 

Portrait by Archibald Stuart Wortley . . . .208 

A Punch Caricature . . . . . . .215 

Facsimile of Letter to the Daily Telegraph . . .254 

On his Fiftieth Birthday 272 

With A. G. Steel 320 

With H.R.H. the Prince of Wales . . . .322 
As a Golfer 330 



BY LORD HAWKE (President of M.C.C., 1914- 


WHAT can be said of W. G. which is not ex- 
pressed in the following pages ? 

Although it falls to my lot to open the innings of 
the great side that has been gathered to do justice 
to the champion's memory, as generally happens the 
Introduction is the very last portion of the book to be 
written. Therefore it seems to me that everything 
has been stated, and yet it behoves me to contribute 
my share when others have so generously given of 
their best. 

Ever since I can remember, cricket was my greatest 
hobby, and looking back to my earliest boyhood it 
seems to me that cricket and Grace were synonymous. 
For nobody ever spoke of cricket without alluding to 
W. G. He symbolized cricket for every one who 
began to play after he became champion. He even 
attracted many to watch him who under no other 
circumstances would have thought of witnessing a 

When I came to know him, the man proved as 
attractive as the cricket. W. G. was highly indivi- 
dual, like no one else, just as his cricket did not 
resemble that of any other player. I have heard it 
observed that he had just the figure for cricket. 
I do not think so. I regard his exceptional skill 
in his zenith as all the more remarkable, because 


he overcame physical difficulties. That big, burly 
frame was slow to move, there was a tendency to put 
on weight, only overcome by strenuous exercise : he 
conquered such obstacles as he conquered opposing 
bowling and as he conquered anno domini to an 
unparalleled age. As years went by one marvelled 
more and more at his skill. The Old Man became a 
perennial in first-class cricket. Personally I enjoyed 
an exceptionally long career in county matches. 
But W. G. was playing for the Gentlemen before I 
was five years old, and he was still scoring centuries 
only a little before I resigned the captaincy of York- 
shire. It does seem so wonderful that one is in 
doubt how to allude to such exceptional success. 
" Take him all in all, we shall not look upon his like 
again," appears the one true quotation with which 
to commend his memory to those who will never 
enjoy the good fortune to watch his complete mastery 
at the wicket. 

Individually I am the very worst possible to 
provide reminiscences of the champion. I always 
played cricket for cricket's sake, very seriously 
without giving thought to anything except the 
actual game. I never noticed what may be termed 
bye-parts, those pleasant side-lights which are so 
illustrative when one looks back. Whenever W. G. 
was against me and we chiefly met in Yorkshire 
v. Gloucestershire matches I found him absorbed 
in the encounter with none of the playful episodes 
occurring such as are recalled by other contributors 
to this volume. That earnestness made for good 
cricket, but not for amusing recollections. 

He generally seemed to love the Yorkshire bowling, 
and I think that was because our bowling was just a 
bit better very often than others that he had to play, 
and therefore he tried just a little more than usual to 
get runs and certainly made them. We possessed 
a succession of wonderful left-handed bowlers, and 
J always thought that W. G. played left-handed 

DR. W. G. GRACE 3 

bowling more easily than he did right-handed, that 
is to say, I believe he liked the preliminary direction 
imparted to the flight of the ball by the left hand, 
just as I did. Personally I never saw two finer 
efforts than his double century against us at Clifton 
in 1888. He hit the very first ball for four, plumb in 
the middle of the bat, and I felt we were out for a 
real "leather hunt." He never looked like being 
out. If Georgie Hirst never bowled him, as he 
relates, Bobby Peel only did so on six occasions 
and Peate on nine ; and they must have opposed 
him a number of times. 

He could be baffling on occasions. Once at Scar- 
borough on the last day, it was a North v. South, 
he and Abel were in at lunch time and the boys 
wanted to catch an afternoon train home, so they 
did their best to get W. G. to have an extra glass of 
champagne in the hope that it would help to get him 
out. The Old Man well knew what they were up to. 
" No," said he, "I will have the other bottle at five 
o'clock." Sure enough, he was still in and had his 
" afternoon tea " and the boys missed their train. 

I never had a word with W. G. in my life which 
was not cheery, pleasant and sportsmanlike. Only 
once, I think, did I shoot with him, and that was at 
Ranji's. The Old Man shot with a would-be pair of 
guns ; one given by Purdy ; the other was as unlike 
it as two sticks. Still he was in good form, and it 
was delightful to note his accuracy and his 
own pleasure in bringing down some really high 

I have expressed the opinion that I have always 
been splendidly supported by the Press in all my 
efforts on behalf of cricket. I also think that Grace 
owed not a little to the constant appreciation of his 
prowess shown in print. From the beginning the 
cricket critics recognized his supreme mastery of the 
game, and they never lost sight of that even when he 
was out of form now and again. This steady mainte- 


nance of his skill to the public gave him opportunity 
to recover his form instead of his being subjected to 
erroneously short-sighted suggestions that he ought 
to be left out of a big match just because he had made 
a few small scores. The monument to W. G. is not 
only in what he has done, but in the consistent way 
in which it was recorded. In whatever class of 
sport that can be named, I doubt if there ever was 
one who shone so brilliantly above his fellows. No 
one was ever more popular, and still we can say, with 
the real depth of truth, that one of his greatest 
charms was that he was always the same and never 
had his head turned. Indeed there were so many 
that one is tempted to sum it all up thus : 

W. G. b. 1848, d. 1915 : well played. 

Yes, that is the truth : he played life's innings 
well, as this book goes to prove. A memorial to him 
is to be perpetuated at Lord's, just as this Memorial 
Biography is intended to give permanent testimony 
to what he was. Yet no monument, no portrait, 
no book can adequately represent either the vitality 
of W. G. or his superb skill in the game he loved. 
They had to be seen to be realized, and now we can 
look at them no more. 

A Tribute 

BY LORD HARRIS (Treasurer of M.C.C.} 

IT is thirty years since I ceased to play regularly 
with W. G., and a period such as that plays 
havoc with one's memory of particulars ; but as 
one of the few left who played with him in the great 
matches of the seventies and eighties I feel that 
though one's thoughts are concentrated on a far 
different field, I ought to try, before it is too late, to 
leave on record my recollections of him and his 

I suppose it has been difficult for the present 
generation, who have seen occasionally at Lord's or 
in some country match his massive form, to realize 
that in the seventies he was a spare and extremely 
active man. My old comrade, Mr. C. K. Francis, 
reminded me when we attended his funeral, that in 
1872, when Mr. FitzGerald's team of Gentlemen 
visited Canada and the United States, W. G.'s 
playing weight was no more than 12 stone 7 Ib. ; he 
was a magnificent field in any position, but more 
especially in fielding his own bowling he was unsur- 
passed. For a long time during his career he fielded 
regularly at point, and though those who had seen 
both considered his brother E. M. far the better of 
the two in that place, he was quite first-rate. He was 
a long thrower in his earliest days, but quite early 
in his career, when he sometimes went long field, 
preferred to bowl the ball up to throwing it. He 



was always when at point on the look-out for a bats- 
man being careless about keeping his ground, and 
you would see him occasionally face as if about to 
return the ball to the bowler, and instead send it 
under arm to the wicket-keeper, but I never saw him 
get any one out that way. He was originally a 
medium-paced bowler without peculiarity, meeting 
occasionally with considerable success, but in the 
seventies he adopted the delivery, slow with a leg 
break, by which he was known for the rest of his 
great career, and added to his otherwise extra- 
ordinary capacity as a cricketer. He must have 
been by nature a great bat and field, but he made 
himself, by ingenuity and assiduity, a successful 
bowler : and though I never knew any one keener 
on having his innings, I am by no means sure he did 
not prefer the other department of the game ; at 
any rate, it was very difficult to take him off once he 
had got hold of the ball. It was " Well, just one 
more over " or "I'll have him in another over or 
two," when one suggested a change. The chief 
feature of his bowling was the excellent length which 
he persistently maintained, for there was very little 
break on the ball, just enough bias to bring the ball 
across from the legs to the wicket ; not infrequently 
he bowled for catches at long leg, and when his 
brother Fred was playing was often successful in 
trapping the unwary, for with a high flight and a 
dropping ball it is difficult to avoid skying a hit to 
leg. Fred Grace was as sure a catch as I ever saw : 
he caught the celebrated skyer hit by Bonnor at the 
Oval, certainly a very high one. But a better still I 
thought was one he caught one very cold September 
day at the Oval in a match played for the benefit of 
" The Princess Alice " Fund. G. F. was bowling 
and a tremendous skyer went up, which obviously 
belonged to mid-off where I was standing. I was 
not particularly keen about it, and there was 
plenty of time for me to say " Who's going to have 

DR. W. G. GRACE 7 

this? " "I will," said G. F., and he held it sure 

The success of W. G/s bowling was largely due to 
his magnificent fielding to his own bowling. The 
moment he had delivered the ball he took so much 
ground to the left as to be himself an extra mid-off, 
and he never funked a return however hard and low 
it came. I have seen him make some extraordinary 
catches thus ; he had also the additional chance of 
the umpire making a mistake over an appeal for 
l.b.w. He crossed over to the oft so far and so 
quickly that he could not possibly see whether the 
ball would have hit the wicket, but he generally felt 
justified in appealing. On one occasion at Canter- 
bury with a high wind blowing down the hill he was 
having much success, and asking every time he hit 
the batsman's legs. He could not get me caught at 
long leg for I always hit him fine, but he asked every 
time I missed the ball ; I kept remonstrating, and 
he kept responding indignantly until at last I put 
my left leg too far to the left, the ball passed through 
my legs and hit the wicket, upon which he argued 
that all the previous balls would have done the same, 
whilst I argued that that and all the others had not 
pitched straight. He always had his mid- on very 
straight behind him to make up for his crossing ta 
the off. He seemed quite impervious to fatigue, and 
after a long innings would gladly, if allowed to, bowl 
through the opponents' innings. It is right to dwell 
thus much on his bowling, for though not a brilliant 
he was a decidedly successful bowler, and with a 
wind to help him actually difficult. But, of course, 
he will go down to fame as the greatest batsman that 
ever played, not as the greatest bowler ; and I 
should judge that that description of him is justified. 
I happen to have seen and played on the average 
wickets we had to play on before the days of the 
very heavy roller, and also on the wickets batsmen 
now enjoy and bowlers groan over. I was too long 


after his time ever to see Fuller Pilch bat, but I 
fancy it would be a very fair comparison to pit 
W. G.'s performances against Fuller's, and, great 
batsman as the latter was, I cannot believe he was 
as great as W. G. 

I have elsewhere dilated, at such length as to 
prohibit repetition here, on the difference between 
the wickets of my earlier and of my later experience. 
The far lower level of batting averages in the seven- 
ties, as compared with those of the nineties and subse- 
quently, is ample proof of the improvement of 
wickets, for the bowling has certainly not deterior- 
ated, and it should be remembered that W. G. 
was making as huge scores on the more difficult 
wickets as his successors have done on the easier. 

The great feature of Fuller's batting was his for- 
ward play. He used a bat with a short handle and 
abnormally long pod, so that, whilst he could 
smother the ball, and drive and play to leg, he could 
not cut ; whereas W. G. could hit all round, he used 
every known stroke except the draw which had be- 
come all but obsolete when he commenced first-class 
cricket ; and he introduced what was then a novel 
stroke, and one more adaptable to the break-back 
bowling which he had as a rule to meet, than the leg- 
break bowling which was common in Pilch's time, 
viz. : the push to leg with a straight bat off the 
straight ball, and his mastery of this stroke was so 
great that he could place the ball with great success 
clear of short leg and even of two short legs. It 
was not the glide which that distinguished cricketer 
Ranjitsinhji developed so successfully, or a hook, 
but a push and a perfectly orthodox stroke. In his 
prime he met the ball on the popping crease, neither 
the orthodox forward nor the backstroke ; it was 
a stroke entirely unique in my opinion needing 
remarkable clearness of eye and accurate timing : it 
is easy enough to play thus when one's eye is in, 
but when at his best he commenced his innings with 

DR. W. G. GRACE 9 

it. He stood very close to the line from wicket to 
wicket and made great use of his legs in protecting 
his wicket, not, be it understood, by getting in front 
of the wicket and leaving the ball alone, for no bats- 
man left fewer balls alone, but bat and legs were so 
close together that it was difficult for the ball to get 
past the combination. So much so that the un- 
fortunate umpires of those times were constantly being 
grumbled at either by the bowlers for not giving him 
out, or by him for being given out. J. C. Shaw, in 
particular, who remarked once : "I puts the ball 
where I likes, and that beggar he puts it where he 
likes," was constantly appealing to heaven as he 
had failed in his appeal to the umpire 'that he had 
got him dead leg-before ; and W. G. remonstrating 
in that high-pitched tone of voice " Didn't pitch 
straight by half an inch." I cannot remember his 
ever when in his prime -slogging : he seemed to 
play the same watchful, untiring correct game as 
carefully towards the close as at the commencement 
of a long innings : and there was no need for he had 
so many strokes and could place them so clear of 
the field, and with such power that when runs had 
to be made fast his ordinary style was enough to 
secure all that was wanted. 

He was quite untiring during the longest innings, 
and just as anxious and watchful for every possible 
run whether he had got to save his duck or had 
already made 200, and he was very fast between the 
wickets, and just as reluctant to leave the wicket 
whatever his score was as was Harry Jupp, but more 
observant of the rules, practice and etiquette of the 
game than that stolid player, of whom a story was 
told that playing in a country match he was bowled 
first ball. Jupp turned round, replaced the bails, 
and took guard again. " Ain't you going out, 
Juppy ? " said one of the field. " No," said Jupp, 
and he didn't. I may repeat another story I have 
recorded elsewhere how I caught Jupp once at point 


close under his bat and close to the ground, that 
he showed no inclination to go and, so it was declared, 
that I said in a voice so thunderous : " I am not going 
to ask that, Jupp, you've got to go," that he did 


W. G. was desperately keen for his side to win, and 

consequently was led, in his excitement, to be occa- 
sionally very rigid in demanding his full rights, but 
he was so popular, and had the game so thoroughly 
at heart, that such slight incidents were readily for- 
given him and indeed more often than not added to 
the fund of humorous stories about him. When the 
luck of the game went against him his lamentations 
were deep, and his neighbourhood to be temporarily 
avoided, except by the most sympathetic. Alfred 
Lyttelton used to tell a delightful story of how in a 
Middlesex v. Gloucestershire match W. G., having 
been given out for the second time caught at the 
wicket for a small score, he retired to the dressing 
tent with his shoulders so humped up and his whole 
aspect so ominous that the rest of the Gloucestershire 
XI were to be seen sneaking out of the back of the 
tent to avoid an interview. His ability to go on 
playing in first-class cricket when age and weight 
had seriously increased was quite remarkable. He 
was a most experienced and skilful anatomist of his 
own body, and knew how to save the weak points, 
but in addition he was always a most plucky 
cricketer. Standing up as he had to to the fiercest 
bowling sometimes on most fiery wickets, and put- 
ting his hand to everything within reach no matter 
how hard hit, he had of course at least his share of 
painful contusions, but I cannot in the years that I 
was playing with him remember his ever standing out 
or flinching : and I have seen him playing with badly 
bruised fingers. 

He was so immeasurably above every one else for 
many years, that the lines about Alfred Mynn natur- 
ally occurred to one as appropriate also to him, 

DR. W. G. GRACE n 

substituting batting for bowling and Gloucestershire 
for Kent : 

" But the Gentlemen of England the match will hardly win 
Till they find another bowler such as glorious Alfred Mynn " 


" Till to some old Kent enthusiasts it would almost seem a sin 
To doubt their county's triumph when led on by Alfred Mynn."' 

I am sure it seemed to us who played with him in 
the great matches of the seventies and eighties that 
with W. G. to start the batting both the Gentlemen 
and England must be invincible, but Australian 
bowling took down our pride somewhat and taught 
us some useful lessons. When the Gentlemen of 
England were playing in Canada and the States in 
1872 we used to grumble because W. G. and Cuthbert 
Ottaway used generally to put up 100 before a 
wicket went down, leaving some of us who fancied 
we could also do well if we had the chance, little to 
do when our time came. He was then and always 
a most genial, even-tempered, considerate com- 
panion, and of all the many cricketers I have known 
the kindest as well as the best. He was ever ready 
with an encouraging word for the novice, and a com- 
passionate one for the man who made a mistake. 

The sobriquet " Old Man," and it was a very 
affectionate one, was an abbreviation of " Grand Old 
Man," copied from that given to Mr. Gladstone by 
his admirers, and indeed he was the Grand Old Man 
of the Cricket World and the Cricket Field. It is, I 
suppose, natural if the present generation who have 
never seen him play cannot realize what he was to 
the cricketers of mine. He was a landmark, a 
figure head, a giant, a master man, and to most of 
those who are left I imagine it must be as difficult 
as it is to me to imagine cricket going on without 
W. G. He devoted his life to it, and was perhaps 
as well-known by sight to the public as any man in 
public life ; for he played all over England, in his- 


younger days with the United South of England 
XI managed, if I remember right, by Jim 
Lilly white .against odds ; later as county cricket 
increased the Gloucestershire matches took him to 
all the great cricketing counties ; but I think he 
would have said that his home in first-class cricket 
was Lord's ; he was a most loyal supporter of M.C.C. 
cricket, and the admirable likeness of him by Mr. 
Stuart Wortley shows him batting on that historic 
ground, the combination of man and place surely 
most appropriate : the greatest cricketer in the 
history of the game batting on the most celebrated 
ground in the world. 

He has gone and it is difficult to believe that a 
combination so remarkable of health, activity, power, 
-eye, hand, devotion and opportunity will present 
Itself again ; if not, then the greatest cricketer of all 
time has passed away, and we who saw his play were 
encouraged by his invariable kindness, and gloried 
in his overwhelming excellence, may well think 
ourselves fortunate that a few of our cricketing 
years fell within his long cricketing life. It was a 
shock to hear that W. G. was no more ; the crowd 
.at his funeral, at a time when many of his greatest 
admirers were occupied with war work, was the best 
proof of the respect, admiration and affection he had 
won. The well-known lines in remembrance of 
Alfred Mynn pray that the Kentish turf may lie 
lightly on him ; it now provides a calm and honoured 
home to the remains of 



Why W. G. Grace remains the Greatest 
Cricketer that ever was or ever will be 


EVERY young cricketer of to-day and every 
cricketer of future generations will ask : " Why 
was W. G. Grace the greatest of cricketers and was 
he so very wonderful after all ? " It is to answer 
that very natural question that this memorial 
biography has been compiled. Why should our 
descendants take our word for anything ? They 
demand proof, and it is believed that the present 
volume will provide it on behalf of the deceased 
champion. At the same time it must be admitted 
that the praises of bygone heroes of the cricket-field 
often sound a little dull. Some of us may regard the 
famous Hambledon men much as we think of the 
Knights of the Round Table. We are not enthralled 
by Old Clarke, we are left unstirred by the once 
renowned prowess of Fuller Pilch, and neither William 
Ward nor Lord Frederick Beauclerk arouse a thrill. 
Better the next county match that is to be played 
than the greatest test match that was ever played. 
Whether this latter contention is right or wrong 
depends on the power of memory, or the links of 
association. Cricket memories are among the most 
fragrant of all to many devotees of the grand game. 
Anyhow, here is the emphatic statement once again : 
there can be no one else like W. G. Grace. 

Far be it from those of us old enough to have seen 



several generations of cricketers to lay stress on the 
superiority of those who have played their last big 
game. There are just as fine cricketers coming 
to-morrow as ever batted yesterday. Charles Buller 
was not a better bat than Andrew Ernest Stoddart ; 
Richard Daft was not more difficult to dislodge than 
Tom Hay ward ; C. I. Thornton as a glorious hitter 
was succeeded by H. T. Hewett and Francis Ford ; 
J. T. Tyldesley and Victor Trumper, Hobbs and 
George Hirst will have their counterparts in the next 
decade ; after A. G. Steel came F. S. Jackson ; we 
may again see such a super-vitalized cricket genius 
as George Lohmann. What about K. S. Ran- 
jitsinhji ? Well, the popular Jam Sahib of Na- 
wanagar, when the present writer was his guest for 
the Delhi Durbar, said that he himself had only 
begun as a bat where the Grand Old Man had left off, 
.and certainly he was never compelled to play on the 
abominably difficult wickets on which the senior 
acquired his well-earned reputation. At the cen- 
tenary dinner of Lord's cricket ground, C. E. Green 
proposed the health of W. G. as " the greatest 
cricketer that has ever lived or ever will live." 

Why ? Young England justifiably asks. Let 
it not surprise those of us who have been born and 
bred under the shadow of W. G. Grace's incomparable 
supremacy that already have arisen those junior to 
us who inquire why. They have the right to 
Icnow ; they want reasons for our positiveness on 
the subject. Few people to-day dogmatize with 
complete confidence ; why should all the generations 
of spectators and players for forty years agree on this 
one point ? 

The answer is not difficult to give. W. G. Grace 
is virtually the creator of modern cricket as we know 
it. He came into cricket when it was the most 
delightful of all contests, and by his amazing prowess 
lie lifted it on his own massive shoulders to be the 
finest of all games, which it is to-day and will be 

DR. W. G. GRACE 15 

to-morrow. The part he played was so unique that 
so long as England to herself is true the fame of 
W. G. Grace will be preserved among the greatest 
imperial traditions. 

In the realm of sport that peculiarly British 
preoccupation no other player ever towered so 
colossally over all other players in any game. Thou- 
sands who never saw a match nor felt the faintest 
interest in the antagonism of bowler and batsman 
were aware of him familiarly by repute. To the 
British public W. G. was almost as well known as 
W. E. G. ; and, in the midst of the excitement over 
the first Home Rule Bill, a distinguished diplomatist 
observed that there was only one man more talked 
about in England than Gladstone and that was 
Grace. This unique reputation will have to be con- 
sidered when the social and moral history of the past 
fifty years comes to be written, for the investigator 
will be compelled to ascertain how it came about 
that one who never forced himself into publicity, 
except by his paramount skill in a game, should 
have held so remarkable a place in the popular 

The explanation seems to be that he embodied in 
a particular way so much that appealed to his 
fellow-countrymen. Beyond all others he stood out 
as the typical example of absolute supremacy in his 
own sphere. In the best sense he was an individual 
gifted with amazing aptitude, emerging from the 
middle classes to be foremost in a game dear to all 
ranks of English society. It is but a truism to say 
that, to all intent and purpose, Grace personified 
cricket to the whole Empire for successive genera- 
tions of cricketers he played with the grandsons of 
those who had called him champion, and could still 
merit that proud title. It was not only what he 
achieved, it was also the individuality of the man, 
his massive, unmistakably British personality which 
exercised a spell over the crowd and caught the 


imagination of those who never saw him to such an 
extent that in his own lifetime he entered the rank of 
traditional popular heroes ; and the testimonials 
collected for him gave substantial evidence of how 
large he loomed in general estimation. 

It became a commercial enterprise to arrange for 
his appearance at such towns for example as Cork, 
Inverness, Aberdeen, Lincoln, Wakefield, Darlington, 
Grimsby, Durham and Exeter, where no crowds 
otherwise could be induced to watch cricket. He 
alone among Englishmen proved an attraction, from 
the gate-money point of view, as lucrative as that 
which the Australians subsequently became ; and 
the silver testimony of the turnstiles forms an unmis- 
takable indication of what interests the public. In 
the seventies a newspaper observed that the clubs 
emptied and a stream of cabs dashed towards St. 
John's Wood when it was known that he was playing 
at Lord's. More than twenty years later, on his 
fiftieth birthday, twenty thousand people were 
packed round the same ground; excursion trains 
were run from the West of England : and " much to 
their annoyance, ladies and gentlemen, not in twos 
and threes but in hundreds, had to be turned away." 
No other votary of any sport has even a tithe of the 
references to W T . G. Grace that are to be found in the 
pages of Punch. 

It was appropriate that so many of the greatest 
achievements of the Old Man as he was familiarly 
called in his veteran days should have been associ- 
ated with the headquarters of the game in which he 
excelled. Countless are the occasions in which he 
descended the steps, first of the old, then of the new 
pavilion at Lord's, always to be greeted with acclama- 
tion, often with positive enthusiasm. Even to look 
at, Grace had no parallel. That huge, ponderous 
form, those tremendous arms their hairy strength 
revealed by the upturned sleeves the big, familiar 
head, invariably wearing a red and yellow cap, the 

The beginning of his forward push stroke 

(From an action -photograph by G. W. Beldam.) 

DR. W. G. GRACE 17 

swarthy complexion, the thick black beard later, 
" a sable silvered" all revealed a man physically 
somewhat apart from the type usually associated 
with cricket. 

When he reached the wicket and took guard, he 
invariably marked the spot on the ground with one 
of the bails. Then he would adjust his cap and take 
a careful look round to ascertain the placing of the 
field before confronting the bowler. Naturally, as a 
veteran, with increasing years and bulk, he leant 
more heavily on his bat, but in his prime his position 
was particularly easy. The weight of the body 
rested entirely on the right leg, the left foot being 
generally cocked up. He met every ball in the very 
centre of the bat, and whilst at the wicket inspired a 
curious confidence in his capacity to stay there. 
The late A. G. Steel as great a master of the theory 
as of the practice of cricket observed that it was 
waste of time on hard, dry wickets to put on fast 
bowlers when Grace was at his best. The runs that 
came from bowlers like Martin Mclntyre were 
astonishing ; cuts, pushes through any number of 
short-legs, big drives and colossal leg-hits all were 
alike to the great batsman. No warmer verbal 
tributes were ever paid to Grace than by that master 
of the ball, Alfred Shaw the bowler who most fre- 
quently obtained his wicket and was admitted by 
Grace himself to be the one he found most difficult 
to play. That his very repute itself exercised a 
detrimental effect on bowlers pitted against W. G, 
seems to have been contemporaneously recognized 
and admitted by many. 

With reference to a sentence which has become 
classical, the one uttered by J. C. Shaw but erro- 
neously attributed on occasions to Alfred Shaw 
W. G. Grace himself must be quoted : 

' My experience of J. C. Shaw was that at first he 
tried all he knew to get me out, but after I got set he 


was not quite so keen and gave me repeatedly a ball 
to hit for no other purpose than to get me to the other 
end so that he ' might have a try at some one else,' 
as he said. And over after over he bowled a wild 
ball in the hope of getting me caught ; giving as 
his reason for doing it : 'It ain't a bit of use my 
bowling good 'uns to him now ; it is a case of I can 
bowl where I likes and he can hit where he likes.' ' 

All the same, the version of the phrase given by 
Lord Harris in Chapter II is the correct one. 

Considering that he was such an aggressively 
rapid run-getter, it may seem surprising to assert 
that the chief characteristic of Grace's batting was his 
watchful defence. Nevertheless it is a fact that his 
magnificent punishing powers were only a superstruc- 
ture on a foundation of solid impregnability. It was 
that reserve of protectiveness which stood him in 
such wonderful stead. Recollect how he, and he 
alone, systematically stopped the dangerous " shoot- 
ers " at Lord's in the seventies, when Jem Mace the 
pugilist said he would rather stand up for ten rounds 
than keep wicket on that pitch. It is, however, 
remarkable that Grace told A. C. M. Croome that 
there never was such a ball as " a yorker " bowled 
to him : " they were nothing more than full tosses." 

Grace had no pet stroke as other batsmen had. He 
was master of every stroke and used the one best 
suited to the ball he was playing. Not only did this 
give great power, but an extraordinary appearance of 
security. There never seemed in his great days any 
reason why W. G. should get out. The spectators 
watched the master of his art and saw all the wiles of 
the cleverest bowlers reduced to the level of being 
apparently easy to play. He took the semblance of 
sting out of bowlers with consummate ease. Bowler 
after bowler of tremendous local repute was brought 
up to dismiss W. G., but went back having largely 
swelled the champion's aggregate. It has often 

DR. W. G. GRACE 19 

been pointed out that a clever young bowler enjoys 
success by reason of the novelty of his delivery until 
the idiosyncracies become known. This was never 
the case against W. G. He summed up each man at 
once because he always concentrated the whole of 
his attention on the ball then being delivered. That 
was why no one ever saw him flustered at a crisis : 
he was merely doing his job, which was playing the 
next ball. Ranjitsinhji told the writer the secret of 
his own success was that he saw the ball a yard nearer 
the bat than any other cricketer. One secret of 
Grace's success was the unparalleled union of eye 
and hand : in other words, no one else ever ap- 
proached his perfect timing of the ball. To this 
must be added Richard Daft's opinion that he owed 
much to his self-denial and constant practice. G. W. 
Beldam has emphasized to the writer that one cause 
of Grace's mastery, which he discovered by his action 
photographs, was that the champion saw the bowler 
deliver the ball with both eyes, whereas by the old 
method with the left shoulder forward, only the 
left eye of the batsman was actually on the delivery. 

Again and again he was scoring his century with 
ease when others were scraping about for twenty 
or were out for forcing the game. W. G. played so 
hard on every ball and scored with such steady 
rapidity that, until the modern telegraphs were 
instituted, registering each run as scored, spectators 
did not recognize with what powerful precision he was 
piling on runs ; as a rule it would be safe to assert 
that in his prime he was responsible for nearly two- 
thirds of the runs scored whilst he was at the wicket. 
So far as results go, Ranjitsinhji in 1896 scored 
forty-one more runs than W. G. in his best year, 1871, 
but in sixteen more innings ; Shrewsbury in 1887 
equalled W. G.'s best average, but was dismissed 
four fewer times. 

In one respect only I think that less than justice 
was done to the champion, namely that not enough 


tribute was paid to the ease of his style. Admitted 
he had not the delightful elegance of W. Yardley or 
A. P. Lucas, of Lionel Palairet or R. H. Spooner, but 
people were too apt to regard idly the heavy physique 
of W. G. and to talk of him as being powerful without 
anything approaching attractiveness This was not 
the case. Such innings, from personal memory, as 
his delightful partnership with J. Shuter against 
the Australians, his 125 against Kent, some of his 
efforts against Yorkshire and his century against 
the Players in 1895 go to prove that on a good wicket 
under congenial circumstances Grace could add con- 
summate ease to unparalleled skill. Of course he 
made more of his runs in front of the wicket than 
some distinguished batsmen because of the aforemen- 
tioned habit of meeting each ball plumb in the centre 
of the bat. His skilfulness in placing he himself 
attributed to playing so much against twenty-two's 
for the United South XI, though old men tell 
me he possessed this quality from the very outset of 
his career. ' ' He was strictly orthodox in his batting, 
improving and standardizing (so to spea.k) the strokes 
of George Parr, Tom Hayward the elder and Robert 
Carpenter. " There were great cricketers before W. G, 
Grace and great ones will come again ; but it was he 
who must be regarded as supreme because he took 
the old-time game and by his surpassing prowess 
made it spectacular, therefore more widely popular 
and personally caused most of the various develop- 
ments which have crystallized into what is known as 
first-class cricket. So far back as 1871, it was 
seriously proposed to alter the laws of cricket solely 
on his account, so baffling was the mastery he 

Moreover he was endowed with abnormal power 
to resist fatigue. The longest day in the field or the 
lengthiest innings left him fresh until increasing 
bulk rendered running between the wickets an ex- 
hausting strain. True tales are related of his being 

DR. W. G. GRACE 21 

up all night at the call of professional duty, and then 
making a huge score ; of his rising before six a.m., 
to shoot or fish energetically, prior to a long day's 
cricket ; of his leaving a match at the Oval to win a 
sprint at the Crystal Palace. Moreover -the point 
most emphasized by the elders vaunting Grace's 
supremacy as a cricketer .every thing had to be run 
out. It was common, before the war, to read that a 
batsman " visibly tired as he approached his cen- 
tury"; he would have been more fatigued when 
getting fifty under the conditions prevailing when 
Grace made his first notable scores. But who ever 
saw Grace tired until he had passed the age of forty- 
five ? It was this perennial faculty of endurance 
that assisted to make him so remarkable. Time 
after time we were informed that " Grace was 
finished," that "he was done at last," that "even 
he could not be expected to go on for ever " ; and 
shortly after he would play a succession of marvellous 
innings such as no other cricketer, young enough to 
be his son, could emulate. 

As we turn over the pages of old cricket-books or 
papers, traces can be found of that discussion which 
seems to have continued through the seventies when- 
ever two or three cricket-lovers were gathered 
together, and which will be echoed many times in 
the ensuing chapters of this biography : was Grace 
a good bowler ? His fine results seem to answer 
that question in the affirmative, especially as they 
would have been far better had he been more ready 
to relinquish the ball. It seems to have been for- 
gotten that, in his early days, he bowled fast medium, 
with his arm nearly level. His cunning slow bowl- 
ing, which so often baffled batsmen because it looked 
as though the ball were going to do much more than 
it actually did, was a later development- another 
proof of the amazing pains he took with his cricket. 
That leg-ball, which recurred in every over, was a 
legacy from the time when his younger brother 


G. F. seemed able to catch well-nigh anything hit 
on the leg-side. Further, no one estimating W. G. 
Grace as a bowler should forget that he was entirely 
indifferent to what punishment was meted out to 
him, just as he was unperturbed when his county in 
its weakness lost an aggregate of matches greater in 
number than the victories acquired in its zenith. 
Nobody (it has been said) could ever bustle W. G. ; 
and he owed much to that imperturbability. Though 
he never for a moment took the game lightly, he 
never made it more than a game. Others go in grim 
and pallid at a crisis : he invariably had a jest and a 
passing word for some acquaintance as he came down 
the steps of the pavilion. Not that he lacked keen- 
ness ; far from it. No one ever played cricket with 
more enthusiasm, an enthusiasm which sometimes 
led him too far, but which was pardoned because of 
its very ingenuousness. 

It is a curious fact that among all the famous 
families associated with the game, the Lytteltons, 
Walkers, Graces, Steels, Studds, Fords, etc., in no 
single case was the eldest brother the most distin- 
guished cricketer, nor yet the best field. Owing to the 
length of his career, the pristine excellence of W. G. 
Grace in the field has been somewhat lost sight of. 
In his prime, he was regarded as almost the equal of 
his brothers in a department in which the latter were 
sensational ; and, to the very end, if a ball came 
near his hand it seemed to stick in it. W. G. dropped 
uncommonly few catches, and he also possessed an 
uncultivated aptitude for keeping wicket. As a 
captain he demonstrated many qualities that make 
for good leadership, such as not grumbling at the 
weakness of sides he had to direct, and always show- 
ing himself kind and encouraging to young players, 
while never abating his personal efforts, no matter 
how hopeless or how inevitably drawn a match might 
be. In those respects he set an admirable example. 
But when he directed a team in the field, he did not 

DR. W. G. GRACE 23 

avail himself of all the resources at his disposal nor 
sufficiently adapt his tactics to the exigencies of the 
moment. Hence it happened that another was occa- 
sionally selected to be captain even when Grace was 
the strongest player on a representative side. 

That he has never been equalled as a cricketer 
is an axiom to all who have contributed to the present 
memoir and to every one who has seen him play. 
That he will never have an equal in the future of 
cricket is to us equally an axiom because never again 
will the conditions under which it is played be so diffi- 
cult as they were when he built up his reputation by 
demonstrating his superiority alike over them and 
over his contemporaries, a position he held for whole 
decades. Amid the deepening gloom caused by the 
best and bravest giving their lives in the noblest 
cause, a light of a happy past was extinguished when 
W. G/s time came all too soon. It is certain that 
thousands, who never felt the crushing grip with 
which he shook hands, realized an irreparable gap 
when they learnt that he had gone. Something of 
the part he played is what the present pages are 
intended to portray. 

Earliest Cricket 

Downend, near Bristol, on July 18, 1848, and 
christened in the parish of Mangotsfield on August 
8, 1848, whilst Eton was playing Winchester at 
Lord's and England being defeated by XIV of Surrey 
at the Oval. He was the fourth son of Dr. Henry 
Mills Grace, who brought up all his male issue to be 
medical men, four becoming fully qualified, but the 
youngest, G. F., died before he had passed his final 

The father was a well-built man, standing five feet 
ten, who all his life showed himself enthusiastic 
about cricket, and from their earliest years his sons 
were systematically and assiduously coached in 
every department of the game. W. G. has related 
that it was as natural for all the family to stroll out 
on to the practice ground, prepared in his orchard 
by the father for his sons, as for the average boy to 
stroll into the nursery ; whilst, in order to increase 
the number of available fielders, a retriever and two 
pointers were pressed into the service. Long before 
he was old enough to join in the sport, W. G. looked 
on as his elders developed their prowess. They must 
have been a happy family of rather rough and 
tumble, very jolly and remarkably vigorous children, 
not overburdened with lessons, but leading a merry 
out-of-door life. 

At an age when most boys are amusing themselves 


DR. W. G. GRACE 25 

with toy bricks or rocking horses, the small Gilbert 
was acquiring the rudiments of batting. Care was 
taken he should not use a bat too heavy for him, and 
he was not allowed to hit until he had acquired a 
sound knowledge of defence. No doubt this coach- 
ing was made all the more drastic because of the 
amazingly unorthodox methods with the bat of 
E. M., who was always a law unto himself in the 
way that he " pulled " the straightest professional 

To a large extent this tuition of all the Graces seems 
to have been due to their mother, Mrs. Martha, who, 
as an old lady, will be remembered by very many now 
only in middle-age, with her hair in ringlets, watch- 
ing Gloucestershire matches, whilst her sons hovering 
about her seat heard pretty direct criticisms of their 
form. When unable to attend an important match, 
the score sheet was posted to her by her sons night 
by night, and often she received a telegram stating 
what they had done. She collected newspaper 
extracts about W. G., which were pasted into huge 
scrapbooks, much prized by him after her death. 
He himself has repudiated the statement of George 
Anderson that she could throw a cricket ball pro- 
perly seventy yards, but Richard Daft is responsible 
for the statement that " she knew ten times more 
about cricket than any lady I ever met." It has 
now become a matter of historic lore that when, over 
sixty years ago, she wrote to George Parr asking him 
to include her son E. M. in his England eleven, she 
added that she had a younger son, W. G., who would 
in time be better still because his back-play was 
sounder and he always played with a straight bat. 

When Lansdowne were playing Gentlemen of 
Philadelphia in July, 1884, a member of the home 
club seeing an old lady intent on the game, near the 
pavilion on the first morning, took out a chair for her. 
She thanked him and inquired if he were fond of 
cricket, and, on an affirmative, she replied : "I 


taught my sons to play. I used to bowl to them." 
On returning to the club-house, he learnt she was the 
mother of the Graces. She must have been rewarded 
that day for her pilgrimage, because E. M. Grace 
put up 149 for the first wicket with E. Sainsbury, his 
own share being a very hard-hit 89. 

W. G. bore a striking physical resemblance to her. 
She was a woman of magnificent physique and 
indomitable will. To her levee in the centre of the 
grand-stand at Clifton came every cricketer of note 
who played in a match there, and the fine old dame 
could tell them pretty characteristically and technic- 
ally what she thought good or amiss in their form. 
It has been said that she had an unconquerable 
dislike of left-handed batsmen and never failed to 
comment adversely on a fieldsman who threw in 

Even in a volume that must perforce be confined 
to the cricket super-man who is dealt with in its 
pages, something must be tersely stated about Dr. 
E. M. Grace, for the elder brother materially favoured 
the rapid development in cricket of the younger if 
only because he himself had amazed the sporting 
community just a little earlier. In a generation of 
cricketers who played in strictly orthodox fashion 
under restricted rules and under conventions that 
were more binding than laws, E. M. Grace initiated 
a method that has had no imitators despite its success 
in his own case ; he became a marvellous player and 
will always be reckoned the most unconventional and 
original exponent the game has ever seen. 

His association with cricket was as lengthy as that 
of his yet more famous brother, though he did not 
maintain his position in the first-class averages for 
nearly so long. Born in 1841 and dying in 1911, he 
played in matches from his tenth year to his sixty- 
eighth. In his career he is stated to have taken 
12,078 wickets and to have scored 76,760 runs. 
During thirty-seven seasons his average capture of 

DR. W. G. GRACE 27 

wickets each year exceeded 200, and in 1863 his 
figures showed 339 wickets and 3,074 runs. 

In his twenty-first year playing as emergency man 
for M.C.C. v. Gentlemen of Kent in Canterbury 
Week he took all ten wickets (a feat he accomplished 
on thirty-one occasions) and scored 192 not out. 
Previously to this, on his first appearance at Lord's, 
he was accountable for fifteen out of the seventeen 
wickets, besides scoring 51 not out. He was the 
accepted most successful cricketer in England until 
eclipsed by W. G. Like him he was never at his very 
best consistently when playing at the Antipodes. 
Soon after the creation of Gloucestershire as a 
cricketing county in 1871, he became its secretary 
and held the post until 1909. 

He rarely attempted to play with a straight bat, 
his position at the wicket being to stand perfectly 
upright, to grasp his bat firmly so that it was at an 
angle of 45 between the stumps and the ground and 
then to show a profound disdain for the customary 
methods of treating bowling. Gifted with a capital 
eye and great punishing powers, he placed the ball 
wherever he thought judicious, but he certainly 
indulged more in the pull stroke than did any other 
prominent cricketer. 

Few seem to realize that he began his career as a 
fastish bowler with the old-fashioned round-arm 
action with the hand below the shoulder. It has 
been stated, but is not here vouched for, that he 
adopted his more familiar method of bowling lobs 
as the outcome of a hunting accident. The most 
notable thing about him as a cricketer is that he was 
without exception the very finest point that ever 
fielded. His temerity in creeping almost up to 
vigorous batsmen was amazing, but it was if possible 
excelled by his quickness of eye and astounding power 
of holding the hottest catches. That he exercised a 
baffling and cramping effect on batsmen was a thing 
that entered into his calculations few things did not,. 


for he was always out to win, he meant winning, and 
the tales that have been told of him are for the most 
part true. Apart from his vitality, he possessed 
inexhaustible vivacity and never allowed a game to 
flag in which he was participating. His tempera- 
ment led him into controversies, but his keenness 
was as great as his mastery, after his own fashion,, of 
every department of the game he loved so well. An 
admirable biography by that master of cricket lore, 
F. S. Ashley-Cooper, provides a permanent memorial. 

Yet more brief must be the separate allusion to the 
youngest of the great triumvirate, G. F. Grace, who 
is believed to have died in 'his thirtieth year from the 
effects of sleeping in a damp bed, though this has 
t>een disputed. He was personally most popular and 
in appearance exceedingly handsome. One of the 
very finest fielders that ever covered great distances in 
the deep field, he had a sure pair of hands, whilst he 
was an effective fast bowler and a capital bat, pos- 
sessing strokes all round the wicket, thus obtaining 
his runs in attractive fashion. It may be said that 
his personality exercised something of the same 
fascination over the cricket-loving community which 
that of George Lohmann subsequently achieved. 
He had not a foe in the world and for nearly a dozen 
seasons he was in the forefront of the game. 

When only ten years old, in 1860, he played for 
Radcliffe Alliance v. Lancastrian Club. When fifteen 
and a half, he appeared in Canterbury Week as 
substitute for Bennett for South v. North and three 
days later made 17 for Gentlemen of South v. 
I Zingari. He first represented Gentlemen v. Players 
at Lord's in his twentieth year when he claimed seven 
wickets. Against Notts in 1872 he scored 115 and 
72, both not out. His 165 not out for Gloucester- 
shire v. Yorkshire, a year later, was reported to be 
the most dashing innings of the season. A magnifi- 
cent 1 80 not out v. Surrey in 1875 was his highest 
score in first-class matches. For Gentlemen v. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 29 

Players at Lord's in 1877, he and W. S. Patterson 
being the last pair, made the 46 required to win, and 
on the following day, at Prince's against the Players, 
he was credited with 134. Though he failed to score 
in either innings in that first historic test match at the 
Oval in 1880, the catch by which he disposed of the 
Australian giant G. J. Bonn or will never be for- 
gotten. He held the ball, which at one time ' ' seemed 
to hang in the air," 115 yards from the wicket and 
two runs were finished before it came into his hands. 
His life figures in first-class matches show an average 
of 25-81 for 6,815 runs obtained in 264 completed 
innings, whilst he captured 309 wickets at a cost of 
5,937 runs, averaging 10/21. Still it was in combina- 
tion with his brothers in the field that he achieved 
his finest work. As an instance of his keenness for 
sport, it is related that on one occasion he started off 
at dawn into South Wales where he shot ten brace of 
grouse, returning in time to score a century for his 
county on the same day. 

Reverting to W. G. Grace himself, he was never 
sent to a public school. His education began at a 
village school, then at a more ambitious one at 
Winterbourne, followed by another, at Ridgeway 
House until he was fourteen, when he was coached 
by a private tutor. In his fifteenth year a severe 
attack of pneumonia arrested lessons, and after his 
recovery he shot up so that in stature he towered 
over the rest of his family. Of his school days the 
traditions are those of happy activity not of bookish 
application ; invariably he bore an excellent char- 

His first innings of any importance was for West 
Gloucestershire v. Clifton the day after he had com- 
pleted his twelfth year, when he went in eighth and 
was presented with a bat by his godfather for making" 
51. F. S. Ashley-Cooper has furnished, for the pur- 
pose of this biography, an exhaustive table of all the 
matches in which young W. G. Grace played from the 


age of nine to thirteen, many of which had not been 
previously discovered. These show that he went 
forty-one times to the wicket, being on nine occasions 
not out, obtaining an aggregate of 192, which yields 
an average of 6 runs per innings, the above mentioned 
score being the only one that exceeded 16. In 1862 
he was three times not out, batted in eleven innings 
.and scored 138, his highest contribution being 35 
for Bedminster v. Lansdowne. In August, 1863, he 
compiled 32 for XXII of Bristol v. the England 
Eleven, the earliest occasion on which he met promi- 
nent professional bowling. 

It was in 1864, when in his sixteenth year, that 
the future champion first became noteworthy. With 
an elder brother, Henry, he was brought up to the 
Oval to represent South Wales against the Surrey 
Club, obtaining 5 and 38. The captain of the side, 
being offered a more experienced player for the 
subsequent match at Brighton against Gentlemen of 
Sussex, wished W. G. to stand down. But his elder 
brother protested : " the lad had been asked to play 
in both matches and in both matches he would play, 
or there was an end of the Grace connection." 

So he went in first wicket down and scored 170 
out of an aggregate of 356, whilst in the second innings 
he again furnished the largest contribution, 56, besides 
taking a couple of wickets. Such a huge innings at 
his early age was considerably more remarkable in 
those days than now. In fact it attracted almost as 
much contemporaneous attention as did A. E. J. 
Collins' 638 at Clifton College in 1899. ^ n tne follow- 
ing week, he made his earliest appearance at Lord's, 
still on behalf of the same touring team, going in 
second wicket down v. M.C.C. and contributing 50, 
the second highest score. Next came the earliest 
of his three visits to Southgate, where he obtained 14. 
Finally he wound up at Lord's again with 34 and 47 
against I Zingari. This is the earliest important 
instance of E. M. and W. G. Grace opening an innings 

DR. W. G. GRACE 31 

that association which became so proverbial and 
successful and this first partnership produced 81. 
Thus, on his first excursion into Eastern England, 
young W. G. aggregated 417, his average exceeding 
46. That summer he compiled 1,079 runs. Lilly- 
white, in the next annual, says of him : " promises 
to be a good bat, bowls very fairly." He was already 
a cricketer to be noted at an age when many who have 
subsequently become deservedly famous were not 
even in their school elevens. 

The Young Champion 


IT was in the following year, 1865, when only 
sixteen, that W. G. Grace came into his own and 
was acknowledged to be among the finest players of 
the day. At first it seemed as though he were going 
to be noted chiefly as a bowler. He performed re- 
markably at the Oval for Gentlemen of the South v, 
Players of the South, bowling unchanged throughout 
the match with I. D.Walker and claiming 13 wickets 
for 84 runs, winning the game for his side and being 
presented with the ball. 

A fortnight later he appeared for Gentlemen v~ 
Players on the same ground. A veteran spectator, 
T. A. Leigh, has forwarded the following contempo- 
raneous note that he took. " After Jupp and Hum- 
phrey, who went in first and put on 98 runs, causing 
numerous changes, W. G. Grace bowled with marked 
success. He was only sixteen. His fielding at 
cover-point was brilliant, and though he hardly had 
a fair chance to distinguish himself with the bat r 
going in eighth, he showed excellent form, scoring 23 
and 12 not out against the best bowling in England." 
His analysis showed 7 wickets for 125 runs in a game 
that, for those days, produced heavy scoring (912 
runs). Five old Harrovians were on the amateur 
side, and in the match for the first time were included 


DR. W. G. GRACE 33 

W. G. Grace, I. D. Walker, C. F. Buller, Jupp, T. 
Humphrey and Alfred Shaw. 

Young as W. G. was, he was sent in first each in- 
nings with E. M. for Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's, 
his scores being 3, run out a very rare event with 
him at any period in his career and 34, which 
included a hit through a bedroom window of 
the old tavern. This latter fact is vouched for by 
an onlooker, but E. M. claimed to have done it. 
The match was notable as being the first 
occasion since 1853 that the Gentlemen had won, 
they having lost 19 matches in succession to the 
Players. George Parr for the last time played in this 
match, having first played for the Players, at the age 
of twenty, in 1846. W. G. Grace, at the age of 
sixteen, first played for the Gentlemen and made his 
last appearance in 1906 ; so two participants in the 
chief annual representative match covered a period 
of sixty years. 

That fine ornament and enthusiastic votary of 
cricket, R. D. Walker, writes : 

" In that match though George Parr's batting 
powers were on the wane, yet he scored 60 on a 
wicket that would be described by players of these 
days as almost unplayable. Of the sides, Lord 
Cobham, F. R. Evans, W. F. Maitland and myself 
with G. Wootton are, I believe, the only cricketers 
alive. For the next three or four years I played 
several matches with W. G., and such was his keen- 
ness for the game that it was always a pleasure to 
meet him on the cricket field. He certainly, for 
many years, occupied a similar position in our 
national game to that of John Roberts in billiards, 
and the familiar initials G.O.M. will always be 
applied to him, whenever the history of cricket is 

Here it is appropriate to add a verbal criticism 
by the late I. D. Walker made in the seventies : 


" W. G. has not the style of Mitchell, Alfred Lubbock 
or Buller, but as a bat he is worth all the three 
put together," possibly the biggest compliment ever 
paid to the champion. 
Lord Cobham writes : 

" My recollections of W. G. Grace are chiefly 
confined to the four Gentlemen v. Players matches 
at Lord's and the Oval in 1865 and 1866. I can very 
clearly recall his physical characteristics when I first 
saw him at the Oval match in 1865, just before he 
completed his seventeenth year. He was a tall, 
loose-limbed, lean boy, with some appearance of 
delicacy and, in marked contrast with his brother 
E. M., quiet and shy in manner. He looked older 
than he was, and indications of the great beard 
which subsequently distinguished him through life 
were even then apparent. His fielding in the 
outfield in the early part of his career impressed 
me, if anything, more than his batting or bowl- 
ing, for he was a beautiful thrower. [At the 
athletic sports at the Oval, during the visit of the 
Australian Aboriginals, W. G., in three successive 
attempts, threw the cricket ball 116, 117 and 
118 yards, and also threw it 109 yards one way and 
t>ack 105. He once threw it 122 yards at Eastbourne.] 
He could run like a deer and had a very safe pair 
of hands. As a saver of runs he was unsurpassed, 
and I have always regretted that increasing bulk and 
the claims of bowling later on necessitated his fielding 
near the wicket, where his special powers were not 
called into play. At point, where he generally 
fielded, he was never equal to E. M. 

If he did nothing phenomenal in the four matches, 
yet he had a substantial share in the victories, after 
eleven years of defeat. He averaged 21 runs and 
took 22 wickets at a cost of 17 runs each, and his 
cricket was of so sound and matured a character 
that I believe had he been selected for the team a 

DR. W. G. GRACE 35 

year earlier, when only fifteen, no mistake would 
have been made. 

At the Oval in 1866, after following our innings, 
we put the Players in to make 205 to win and W. G. 
settled the matter by taking 7 wickets for 51 runs, 
a fine performance. At that time his bow r ling was 
almost over medium-paced, the ball coming with his 
arm, and to my mind he did not improve upon it by 
adopting later a slower and higher delivery. The 
match which we won at Lord's in 1865 by eight 
wickets would seem on paper to have been a hollow 
affair, but to get 75 runs to win against the Players 
on that ground was far from a certainty in those 
days. Whatever misgivings may have prevailed, 
these were certainly not shared by either E. M. or 
W. G., who were sent in first. They hit ' hard, 
high and often,' and in less than half an hour the 
result was virtually decided. 

In the next ten years following these matches, I 
saw many of W. G.'s greatest innings, and I formed 
the opinion that the two outstanding characteristics, 
in those days, of his batting were his defence and his 
placing of the ball. His hitting was well timed and 
powerful, but there was something clumsy and 
laborious about it and he was by no means careful to 
keep it along the ground. But whether he was 
dealing with a difficult ball or hitting a loose one, 
the way in which he steered it clear of the fieldsmen 
was almost uncanny and enabled him to score with 
almost equal sureness and rapidity off any kind of 
bowling. These qualities, coupled with a grand 
physique, unshakable nerves and confident ' will to 
win,' formed an unique combination and made W. G. 
the paramount cricketer that he was, through nearly 
the whole of his exceptionally long career." 

'It seems to be necessary to make some reference 
to the vexed question as to when W. G. Grace grew 
a beard. Lord Cobham, as shown above, R. D. 


Walker, Henry Perkins and other veterans agree that 
he had a stubbly beard at seventeen. A print show- 
ing a group at the Canterbury Festival early in the 
seventies however shows him clean-shaven, and that, 
for a year or two, is the recollection of those who 
played with him at that time. So it would appear 
that about 1870 or 1871 he shaved for a while and 
then allowed his salient characteristic to acquire the 
flowing nature so well remembered later on. 

Another point to be noticed it will be borne out 
in subsequent testimony is that overtures were 
made to Grace to go up to both Oxford and Cam- 
bridge purely for the sake of his cricket, but that 
parental opposition prevented what would probably 
have been congenial to himself. Going to an Univer- 
sity solely for the purpose of obtaining a cricket 
'blue" is not unknown Sir Timothy O'Brien 
furnishes one familiar example and it opens a wide 
field of conjecture as to the influence on the Univer- 
sity match of such a phenomenal player as the 
champion. There are instances of a single cricketer 
entirely dominating such an encounter P. R. Le 
Couteur is a notable one but none theoretically 
could have exercised such a preponderating supre- 
macy as W. G. would have achieved. 

The reminiscences of Canon E. S. Carter may 
here be interposed, as they introduce this topic, 
though their wide range covers a period that will, 
in part at least, not be reached for several chapters. 
He writes : 

" My acquaintance with W. G. began at Oxford in 
May, 1866, when he was only seventeen and G. F. but 
fifteen. They both came with an eleven of Gentlemen 
of England. I clean bowled G. F. each time, and the 
'Varsity won by ten wickets. W. G. made very few, 
and in one innings he was caught, I think at short- 
leg, off a ' half-cock ' stroke. On his return to the 
private tent on the ground, his mother was reported 

DR. W. G. GRACE 37 

to have said in the hearing of a fielder, ' Willie, Willie, 
haven't I told you over and over again how to play 
that ball ? ' He breakfasted with me next morning 
in my room in College (Worcester) and I tried my 
hardest to get him to Oxford as an Undergraduate. 
We walked round and round the beautiful garden 
after breakfast, talking over the possibility : but he 
was sure that his father would not sacrifice the time 
from his study for the medical profession. So it 
turned out and the great W. G. was lost to Oxford. 
Prom that time we were warm friends. He always 
called me ' little Tyke/ evidently contrasting me 
with his big self, for I was close on five feet in height 
and twelve stone in weight. 

After leaving Oxford, I took Holy Orders and had 
my first curacy in Ealing and used to go to Lord's 
whenever I could, if Yorkshire were playing. One 
day I said to Tom Emmet t : ' Tom, what do you 
think of this young W. G. Grace, who is making such 
scores ? ' (He was then twenty years old.) Tom 
replied : ' 1 1' s all very well against this South Country 
bowling ; let him come up to Sheffield against me 
and George ' (Freeman) . A few days afterwards, 
July 26, 1869, Grace went to Sheffield to play for the 
South v. North and in the first innings he scored 122 
out of 173, with Emmett and Freeman bowling. When 
Tom came to Lord's shortly afterwards, I said to 
him : ' Well, Tom, you've had Grace at Sheffield 
what do you think of him now ? ' Tom answered: 
quite seriously : ' Mr. Carter, I call him a non-such , 
he ought to be made to play with a littler bat.' : 

I went once to Cheltenham to play for Yorkshire 
and Gloucestershire and in the match three rather 
amusing incidents occurred, two of which showed 
W. G.'s skill and cunning with the ball and in laying 
a trap for the batsman. I was fielding as substitute 
for one of the Gloucestershire men, who was away 
from the field for a while, and I was standing at fine 
mid-on, near the bowler. Ephraim Lockwood came 


in, took his guard and had a good look at the position 
of the fielders. The late G. F. Grace was fielding 
deep square-leg and Ephraim took a second look at 
him. W. G., who was the bowler, turned to me and 
said very quietly, ' You saw old Mary Ann look round 
to see where Fred is. I'll make him drop one into 
his mouth,' and he bowled a lovely half- volley on the 
leg-side. Lockwood could not resist it and sure 
enough he hit the ball right into Fred's hands. Then 
he trapped me very cleverly when I went in, catching 
and bowling me at cover-point. I had hit three balls 
in succession to the boundary past cover-point. He 
bowled a fourth precisely similar, and immediately 
after delivering it, he ran round in front of cover 
and brought off the catch. His cackle was something 
to hear. The third incident was that W. G. returned 
the easiest of catches, a regular ' sitter,' to Emmett, 
who dropped it. He may have slipped, as the 
ground was very wet. However, Tom in his disgust 
threw his cap down in the mud and trampled on it 
savagely before giving the ball a kick which sent it 
to the boundary and credited the champion with four 
runs. Tom spent the rest of the day apologizing to 
W. G. Grace." 

Canon Carter had some further cricketing associa- 
tions with W. G. Grace. One which suggests itself is 
that when the champion made his first appearance 
at Scarborough, both A. N. Hornby and Canon 
Carter were acting as longstops. Though these were 
two of the finest fields in England, yet there were 
43 extras in a single innings, mostly byes, owing 
to the terrific speed of the bowling of Walter F. 
Forbes. W. G.'s comment was that he was glad it 
was always his good fortune to field in front of the 

Another old friend whose association ranged over 
many pleasant years must here be given what is, 
alas ! a posthumous innings, for the late Henry Per- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 39. 

kins, who wrote only a couple of months before he 
too passed over to the great majority, commenced his 
recollections antecedent to those of Canon Carter 
and had close ties with Grace during the time that 
the latter was making so many appearances at Lord's. 
Once more it must be observed how impossible it is 
to keep to strict biographical chronology if the 
impression that the champion made on his friends is 
to be conveyed to readers. 

The popular ex-secretary of M.C.C. stated : 

" I was introduced to W. G. Grace on July io r 
1865, the occasion of his first appearance for Gentle- 
men v. Players at Lord's, he being then within eight 
days of his seventeenth birthday. I do not propose 
to enter into details as to his skill as a player : far 
abler pens than mine will do him full justice in that 
respect. I will only say that the ' well left alone ' 
practice formed no part of his programme, and what- 
ever the length of his innings, a ball hardly ever 
passed his bat. 

From 1865 to 1876, I made a point of going to 
Lord's when W. G. was down to play, but after 1876, 
when I became Secretary of M.C.C. , I was naturally 
brought into closer contact with him and able ta 
form an idea of his merits not only as a player but 
as captain of a side. He was the most generous man 
towards all other players who ever lived. I never 
knew him depreciate any one, either amateur or 
professional. The matches other than Gentlemen v. 
Players, South v. North and v. Australians in which 
he played were those in May each year against first- 
class counties. It was very difficult to get any first- 
rate amateurs, whilst those who put their name? 
down, as a rule had no claim to play in a first-class 
match. This made no difference to W. G. I used to 
say : ' I have a very indifferent lot to-day.' ' Oh 
well, let us see who you have got,' and he would go 
through the list, with the result invariably the same : 


4 We shall do very well, they will all try,' and try they 
did and generally with success. 

The M.C.C. and Ground matches against the first- 
class counties are not now and never have been 
well patronized by the public ; but if W. G. was 
down to play, then there was a good gate to a cer- 
tainty the match against Yorkshire, in particular, 
in which Grace most frequently played, was always a 
great attraction. 

It was in 1878 that W. G. first came to shoot 
partridges with my brother on the Downing Estate 
in Cambridgeshire, but from that date up to the 
time of my brother's death in 1901 his visit was an 
annual one. He was quite a good shot and a real 
sportsman, always in the same high spirits wet or 
fine, good sport or bad. On one occasion the M. F. H. 
called overnight to say he proposed cub-hunting 
on the morrow at four-forty-five a.m., the meet three 
miles off. W. G. said he would be there. He went 
on foot and was in at the death of a fox five miles 
from his quarters ; he was home in time for break- 
fast and to commence shooting at ten. The party 
rested at four for refreshments : after this, W. G. 
said : ' Now then, boys, round again once more.' 
The boys did not respond ; they pleaded fatigue. 
' Well,' said W. G., ' I shall go round by myself,' and 
round he went not a bad day's work for a man just 
over fifty years of age. I never heard that he ' rode 
to hounds,' but he ran with beagles every winter up 
to the very last, and whatever sport or game he 
followed, he followed with all his might, so that, 
taking one thing with another, we may well feel that 
he can have no equal." 

Some of his achievements in 1 866 must not be over- 
looked. Against the Players at Lord's, he and his 
brother sent down 18 overs for only 3 runs at one 
period, while Hearne and Jupp were in, whilst at the 
Oval in the return match he bowled nearly through the 

DR. W. G. GRACE 41 

first innings and right through the second, in which 
latter he claimed 7 opponents for 51 runs. In each case 
the Players batted first. A month later for England 
v. Surrey, he contributed the then enormous innings 
of 224, the largest ever made at the Oval up to that 
time. He went in third wicket down and was at the 
wicket whilst 431 was scored. ' The innings was 
steadily played as well as finely hit." It contained 
two fives and only eight fours, but he made more off 
his own bat than Surrey in their double effort. 
So effective was this victory that, with one exception, 
it was eleven years before another county met All 
England, and then it was the county of the Graces 
that undertook the heavy task. 

For a cricketer to leave a match for any save a 
critical purpose is in the twentieth century unknown, 
but V. E. Walker willingly released W. G. Grace 
irom fielding on the second afternoon in order that 
he might compete at the National Olympian Associa- 
tion Meeting at the Crystal Palace where he ran 
and won the quarter of a mile hurdle race over 
twenty flights of hurdles in the then fast time of one 
minute ten seconds. 

An interesting memorandum about W. G. Grace 
as a runner has been furnished by a veteran observer, 
Algernon Warren, as follows : 

" In the sixties at the Zoological Gardens, Clifton, 
the champion cricketer distinguished himself repeat- 
edly and, according to the standard of the times, 
proved a very fair athlete. In fact, in 1866 he secured 
the gold medal for general proficiency. E. M. 
was acknowledged to be one foot better in the hun- 
dred yards, but that year W. G. managed to get off 
the mark quicker and just landed himself winner. 
E. M. was decidedly wrathful, but turned the tables 
by winning the two hundred yards which was re- 
garded as a certainty for W. G. E. M. ran that race 
as he never ran before. Over the hurdles W. G. 


often showed to advantage, but it is a popular and 
traditional misconception that he always came in 
first. He hardly excelled at the long jump, although 
he occasionally carried off a prize for an achievement 
of under eighteen feet. W. G. was very good at the 
half-mile and in several instances came in an easy 
first, but proved nothing like so successful in the 
mile race. Once he was badly beaten in this by Lane, 
a little fellow who had been given a start of twenty 
yards, of which he certainly had not the slightest 
need. In vain did E. M. shout : ' Come, Gilbert, 
spurt ! He is running two feet to your one/ It 
was no good and Lane won just as he liked. 

In the quarter, one of W. G.'s most formidable 
local competitors was one A. Easton, but this indivi- 
dual's condition (he ran too much to fat) varied 
considerably. He was a pretty runner and at times 
would win easily, but at others was discomfited 
through lack of training. He and W. G. were on one 
occasion the only starters. Easton dashed away 
with the lead, but W. G. caught him up and passed 
him soon after the commencement of the second 
hundred. Halfway through the distance, aston 
closed up again on Grace, who had been leading by a 
yard, but could not breast him. Then W. G. got 
clear again, but Easton made a final effort, to which 
the other responded all he knew and won by a yard. 
Both had run so well that it was announced two 
prizes would be given, W. G.'s being a claret- jug 
and East on' s a cricket bat, the latter by a coinci- 
dence having been presented by Dr. E. M. Grace. 

On another occasion when W. G. came up to 
receive quite a lot of prizes from Mr. Killigrew Watt, 
then the Mayor of Bristol, the band unexpectedly 
struck up ' See the conquering hero comes.' The 
Mayor, having given Grace his various awards, 
turned towards the other competitors and said : 
' Never mind, gentlemen, don't any of you be dis- 
couraged, he will grow old and stiff some day.' That 

DR. W. G. GRACE 43 

day was probably more remote for the champion 
than for any other man of his age in England." 

An instance of his athletic versatility is provided 
by another correspondent who states that " at the 
Bedminster Cricket Club Sports in 1870, W. G. Grace 
won the 100 yards flat, ran second in the 220 
yards hurdles (over ten flights), won the quarter- 
mile hurdles (over twenty flights) and finished third 
in the 440 yards flat. All were handicap events and 
in each race he started from the scratch mark." 

On one occasion Grace's running powers were 
useful in a good cause. He had attended the Berkeley 
Hunt Steeplechases. At the railway station a lady 
gave a pickpocket in charge. The prisoner managed 
to escape and bolted across country, quickly placing 
a whole field between himself and the astonished 
policeman, who had regarded himself as his custo- 
dian. Grace then dashed off in pursuit, going pell- 
mell after the thief, bounding over fences as though 
he enjoyed the chase. While the vagrant crawled 
through a hedge, Grace leapt over it and was actually 
seen to take a formidable-looking iron gate with the 
ease with which he would clear a hurdle. In this 
way, he headed his man, who doubled back and ran 
right into the arms of the constable, who had joined 
in the chase at a more leisurely pace. 

One other remarkable innings was played by W. G. 
Grace, yet again at the Oval at the very close of 
the season of 1866, and it was the earliest of the few 
that he himself was willing to recall as " one of my 
best." For Gentlemen of the South v. Players of 
the South, on a very weak side, he first bowled clean 
through the opposing innings of 207, taking 7 wickets 
for 92 runs, and then, going in fifth, was not out with 
1 73 out of 240 whilst he was in. This effort has been 
described as " absolutely faultless and was made off 
Willsher and James Lillywhite in their prime." It 
was also more aggressive in character, for it included 


two sixes, two fives and six fours as well as fifteen 
threes, every hit being run out. 

It was subsequent to this that he was first termed 
champion and further was mentioned : "his fielding 
at long-leg magnificent ; throw-in terrific, with a 
peculiar spin that often baffled the wicket keeper." 
Such contemporary tributes are testimony of unas- 
sailable character. Again must be emphasized the 
remarkable fact that he was only just entering on his 
nineteenth year. 

Approaching His Prime 


NATURALLY in so prolonged a career, there 
were seasons in which W. G. Grace did less 
than in others, and 1867 may appear to have been 
a comparatively light one, judged by his aggregate. 
Yet this was through no fault of his own, for a 
sprained ankle and a split finger handicapped him in 
the earlier months, whilst for six weeks, soon after 
the commencement of July, he was incapacitated by 
an attack of scarlet fever. Such accidents would 
have marred the prowess of any cricketer of less 
genius than the champion, but, as a matter of fact, 
he came out with the finest bowling average of his 
whole career, namely the amazing one of only 7 runs 
each for 39 wickets. Lilly white's Companion for that 
season describes him as " a magnificent batsman, his 
defensive and hitting powers being second to none ; 
his scoring for the last three seasons has been mar- 
vellous ; a very successful medium-paced bowler and 
a magnificent field and thrower from leg. Plays for 
Gentlemen v. Players and is a host in himself." 

The truth of the last observation can be illustrated 
by a few examples. A new fund was started called 
" The Marylebone Club Cricketers' Fund," for the 
benefit, primarily, of the professionals engaged on 
Lord's ground the staff that season had been 
increased to fifteen ; in 1914 it consisted of fifty-seven 



and, secondly, " for the relief of all cricketers who, 
during their career, shall have conducted themselves 
to the satisfaction of the Committee of M.C.C." 
For the benefit of this charity, a match between the 
Metropolitan County and England attracted four 
thousand spectators on Whit-Monday. W. G. Grace 
and Alfred Lubbock contributed a brilliant 75 and 
129 respectively, not without chances, towards a 
total from the bat of 254, and the former followed 
this up with 6 wickets for 53 runs,bowling unchanged. 
As to this achievement an amusing error occurs. 
There is a misprint in the analysis in Lilly white's Com- 
panion giving the runs scored off W. G. as 15 instead 
of 53, and a flowery biographer of the champion on the 
strength of this described it as " an exceptionally fine 
bowling performance in fact the finest he has ever 
done," whereas a glance at the score would have 
shown the obvious mistake. Thus is history falsified. 
South v. North of the Thames showed what the old 
pitch at Lord's could provide. The sides appeared 
so well balanced that " on paper there was scarcely 
a pin to choose between them," yet the game was 
finished by lunch on the second day, the four innings 
only yielding an aggregate of 241 runs. The South 
won by 27 runs, their opponents being set 74 to win 
and being dismissed for 46, W. G. Grace taking 6 
wickets for 28 runs, five of which were caught, after 
having claimed as many in the first effort for five 
runs less. He followed this up by a devastating 
display against the Players for the Gentlemen in the 
finest weather, but "on wickets decidedly bad even for 
Lord's ground." He began the second innings of the 
professionals by making Jupp bag a brace to his 
bowling, and was so deadly that he dismissed every 
one except Humphrey and James Lillywhite at a 
cost of only 25 runs. This he followed up by hitting 
in such a plucky manner for 37 not out (by far the 
highest score in the match) against the fine bowling 
that the amateurs won by 8 wickets. Finally, to 

DR. W. G. GRACE ^ 47 

show that convalescence had not weakened his skill, 
on August 26, for England v. Surrey and Sussex at 
the Oval, for Tom Lockyer's benefit, before ten thou- 
sand people, by what was termed " splendid bowling," 
he turned the fate of the match, claiming 5 for 31 
the five being Humphrey, Jupp, Charles Payne, 
harlwood and James Lillywhite. 

A great year for batsmen was 1868 it was abnor- 
mally hot and W. G. Grace took ample advantage of 
the hard wickets. For England v. M.C.C. and Ground 
for the benefit of the Marylebone Cricketers' Fund 
he opposed the premier club for the third and last 
time in his career save when representing his county, 
being elected a member in the following season. He 
set his mark on the game, for in each innings his 29 
and 66 were the largest scores and their aggregate 
enabled the national eleven to win by 92 runs. This 
fixture was not renewed until 1877 when, playing for 
the club, W. G. Grace scored n and 6. 

For Gentlemen v. Players his performance of 134 
not out he himself repeatedly declared to be one of 
the finest innings he ever played. He had not yet 
reached his twentieth birthday, be it remembered, 
and his effort against the attack of Willsher, Silcock, 
Wootton, Grundy and Lillywhite, including one 
six, two fives, eleven fours, was a " terrific hitting 
innings " ; every hit too in those days, except drives 
into the pavilion, had to be run out. He went in first 
wicket down and remained undefeated, his com- 
panions making 59 between them, only one B. B. 
Cooper obtaining double figures. Nor was this 
all, for the Players had to follow on, and in their two 
innings W. G. claimed 10 wickets for 8 runs apiece. 
Immediately prior to this achievement, all the three 
Graces had taken part in the first Gloucestershire 
match, v. M.C.C. and Ground at Lord's. The county 
won easily by 134 runs, but only the analysis of the 
first two innings is extant. Apparently only the 
brothers bowled, anyway they divided the wickets 


and were accountable for 113 out of 270 from the bat. 

Once, in 1817, had the feat of scoring a century 
twice in the same first-class match been accomplished, 
W. Lambert having then made 107 and 157 for 
Sussex v. Epsom in a game which took six days to 
play at Lord's. W. G. Grace now emulated this, and 
though the feat has become comparatively common 
under modern conditions there are eighty-three 
instances up to 1915 by thirty-three amateurs and 
twenty-three professionals this does not detract 
from the prodigiousness of the achievement of the 
youth of twenty in 1,868. The match was South v. 
North of the Thames and, after a prolonged drought 
of nearly three months, 1,018 was scored on the excel- 
lent wicket of the St. Lawrence ground at Canter- 
bury, where boundaries were established. W. G. 
Grace's contributions were 130 and 102 not out, off 
Wootton, Grundy, Howitt and Tom Hearne, whilst 
it is to be noted that, despite this great effort, he was 
on the losing side. In his first innings he saw eight 
wickets fall and ran 247 runs, being in three hours 
and twenty minutes ; in his second he also saw 
eight wickets fall, going in when two wickets were 
down and running 180 runs without being dismissed. 
A curiosity of the encounter was that one-fourth of 
all the wickets were secured by the respective wicket- 
keepers, Pooley and Plumb. W. G. Grace was the 
last survivor, except Wootton and Lillywhite,of those 
who participated in this match. 

As a rule he wound up his season with a particu- 
larly good achievement, and nearly always did well 
in a benefit match. In the one at the Oval for Julius 
Caesar, England v. Middlesex and Surrey Hum- 
phrey and Jupp scored 60 before a wicket fell. 
Going on as second change, so effective was Grace 
that the side was out for 97, seven wickets being 
claimed by him for only 28 runs. He also captured 
five opponents in the second effort, but could not 
win the match, the last man Howitt joining Souther- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 49 

ton when eight runs were wanted for victory and the 
pair made them. This was the first match in which 
thoseold friends of his, C. I. Thornton and C. E. Green, 
were both engaged with him. 

In the following year, 1869, W. G. Grace came of 
age, and about the middle of that season it was 
written of him : " batting so triumphantly superior 
to all kinds of bowling brought against it has never 
been witnessed in our generation. Not merely is 
Mr. Gilbert Grace the best batsman in England : it 
is the old story of the race ' Eclipse ' first ; the rest 
nowhere." This was the earliest summer in which 
he obtained over a thousand runs in first-class 

It was now that he began his prolonged and distin- 
guished association with M.C.C. He was proposed 
by the Treasurer, T. Burgoyne, and seconded by the 
Secretary, R. A. FitzGerald. In his whole career for 
the premier club, he averaged 37 with an aggregate 
of 7,780 runs. That first season for it he averaged 
60, scoring 724, besides taking 44 wickets for a dozen 
runs apiece. He led off with a century in his earliest 
effort, 117 (with two sixes) v. Oxford University, there 
being only three other double-figure scores on the 
side, whilst he bowled unchanged almost throughout, 
so he had a large share in the single innings victory. 
A month later, against the rival university at 
Lord's, he took eleven wickets, again bowling nearly 
through, whilst on a proverbial St. John's Wood 
wicket he hit with tremendous power for 32 out of 35 
and 31 out of 41 while in, his aggregate of 63 being a 
pretty good share of the 143 from the bat of the club 

Opposing the counties for M.C.C. , he made 51 out 
of 134 v. Surrey, when the ground was so bad at 
Lord's that the visitors won the toss but put the 
home side in and lost by ten wickets in consequence. 
He was even more severe on the Surrey attack in the 
return match at the Oval. The weather was so cold 


on that July i that the umpires wore greatcoats. 
But W. G. kept himself and the fielding side warm 
by going in first and carrying his bat for a magnifi- 
cent 138 out of a total of 215. He opened his shoul- 
ders with two tremendous on-drives on to the racket 
court off Street and was credited with thirteen fours. 
He then settled the match by taking half a dozen 
wickets in Surrey's first effort, which fell twenty 
short of his own score. 

Notts that season had the strongest professional 
attack, composed of Alfred and J. C. Shaw with 
Wootton* In his first effort, Grace was run out an 
unusual incident with him after hitting finely for 
48, there being only two other double-figure contribu- 
tions in the innings of 112. Richard Daft then 
scored a fine 103 not out and W. G. wagered he would 
beat that achievement, although the wicket on fourth 
hands was pretty dreadful. He won his bet with 
an impetuous 121 compiled in about three hours out 
of 1 86 whilst at the wicket, being bowled off his pads, 
after giving some chances, the missing of which 
must have sorely annoyed Daft, who was apt to be 
irascible under such circumstances. Meeting Lanca- 
shire, Grace was twice cheaply dismissed by Hick- 
ton, but took 9 wickets for 34 runs, and, at Canter- 
bury, gave a generous display against Kent. The 
club played a purely amateur side, and going in first 
he was pre-eminent with 127, " being as finely put 
together as ever." 

Earlier in the Festival, for South v. North, a sensa- 
tion had been created by his being bowled all over 
his wicket by J. C. Shaw with the third ball of the 
match. As a contemporary critic phrased it : 
" Imagine Patti singing outrageously out of tune ; 
imagine Mr. Gladstone violating all the rules of 
grammar and you have a faint idea of the surprise 
created by this incident." Said W. G. himself as he 
walked in for his second effort : "I fancy I'll do a 
little better this time." The premonition proved 

DR. W. G. GRACE 51 

accurate, for he and Jupp put up the century in 
seventy minutes, and with the total at 134, the cham- 
pion left, " after one of his own rapid innings of 96, 
composed of thirteen fours, five threes, etc., his 
hitting being superb." 

For some time the South had been defeated by the 
North, but at Sheffield W. G. turned the tide and 
gave the visitors a victory by 66 runs. It was his 
first appearance locally and excited great interest, 
Emmett and Freeman being promised presents if 
they could get him out cheaply. He went in first 
and gave a rare taste of his quality, for his 122 was out 
of a total of 173, only B. B. Cooper, who went in 
with him, getting double figures. After that, he 
took 6 wickets for 57 runs, leaving the Yorkshire 
crowd convinced that his tremendous reputation 
was thoroughly deserved. He has recorded 
how Freeman, whom he regarded as the best fast 
bowler he ever met was the only one in this match, 
who gave him any trouble ; in the second innings 
he bowled him with a ball which, after it hit the 
wicket, kept spinning for a few seconds between the 
stumps and then lay perfectly dead at the bottom of 

Gentlemen v. Players brought out the best that 
was in Grace. At Lord's, his second contribution of 
30 (with an on-drive for 7 off Wootton) in conjunction 
with W. Yardley's 39 not out just enabled the 
amateurs to obtain the 98 needed with three wickets 
to spare. At the Oval he hit freely for 43 at the open- 
ing, and in his 83 his " batting soon asserted its supre- 
macy, the ball travelling to all parts of the ground, 
the hitting being magnificent." From one over of 
Silcock's he made a two (to leg), a four (cut) and a five 
(on-drive), but was caught at point off Emmett in 
hitting to leg. This was the exciting match which 
the Gentlemen won thirteen minutes before time by 
seventeen runs. 

The greatest of all his achievements in 1869, how 


ever, was to put up 283 with B. B. Cooper for the 
first wicket for Gentlemen of the South v. Players 
of the South, which remained the first-class record 
until 1892 when H. T. Hewett and L. C. H. Palairet 
made 346 for Somersetshire v. Yorkshire at Taunton. 
It was a match of huge scoring, as circumstances 
then existed, 1,136 runs being obtained for only 21 
wickets, giving an average of 51 runs to each bats- 
man. Pooley and Jupp had put up 142 for the first 
professional wicket. As so often happens in a grand 
partnership, one of the pair only survived the other 
by three balls. 

The following quotation from the Daily Telegraph 
has been already republished, but must find a place 
here : 

" The champion batsman was more than ever on 
his mettle. His own bowling, to begin with, had 
been unceremoniously knocked all over the ground. 
The most good-humoured of young giants, he must 
have felt rather impatient as one little fellow after 
another seemed to do just what he liked with the 
trimming balls that were sent in so swiftly with such 
obvious intention. That Mr. Gilbert Grace meant 
to take his revenge was tolerably clear. Every one 
on the ground expected it. Ably helped by Mr. 
Cooper, it was soon clear that no anxiety on that 
account need trouble the mind of his admirers. 
He has made even larger scores than the 180, but we 
doubt whether a better innings has ever been played 
by cricketer past or present. The characteristic of 
Mr. Grace's play was that he knew exactly where 
every ball he hit would go. Just the strength re- 
quired was expended and no more. When the 
iieldsmen were placed injudiciously too deep, he 
would quietly send a ball half-way towards them 
with a gentle tap and content himself with a modest 
single. If they came in a little nearer, the shoulders 
opened out and the powerful arms swung round as 



he lashed at the first loose ball and sent it away 
through the crowded ring of visitors until one heard 
a big thump as it struck against the farthest fence. 
Watching most other men even good players 
your main object is to see how they will defend 
themselves against the bowling ; watching Mr. Gil- 
bert Grace, you can hardly help feeling as though the 
batsman were himself the assailant. You want to 
know, not how he will keep up his stumps, but where 
he will choose to hit. On Friday last he chose to hit 
all over the ground ; and he did it ! Young men, 
however, are never satisfied, and so, for the sake of a 
little variety, he sent the ball into the nearest 

One other incident occurring in 1869 cannot be 
omitted. A tattered newspaper cutting, apparently 
from the Westminster Gazette, gives a letter from 
Canon Bell, which authoritatively deals with a topic 
that has become half apocryphal as well as most 
widely variable, but seems to have been generally 
remembered by admirers of W. G. 

' The real story about Grace and the hymn is this. 
I was the master who was reading prayers in the 
chapel that evening and gave out the hymn. I was 
the choirmaster, and it was I who had arranged, on 
the Saturday previous, the hymns for the week, and 
among them was the one in question, ' Sweet Saviour, 
bless us ere we go/ and of course it was absolutely 
unintentional on my part that it should have been 
down for an evening when Grace was in chapel. 
Well, these are the facts. Grace was bringing an 
eleven from Gloucestershire to play the Marlborough 
boys and in the train he made a bet he would get a 
hundred runs and also hit a ball into ' Sun-lane ' 
a very big hit and which had only once been done. 
I was in with him and a boy called Kempe bowled 
him clean with as fine a ball as I ever saw, I think for 


only three runs, and therefore neither the century 
nor the big hit came off. He came to chapel in the 
evening and the lines were sung : 

* The scanty triumphs Grace hath won, 
The broken vow ' 

and I believe it was generally thought I had done it 
of set purpose. It was absolutely accidental. 

Perhaps you may like the following coincidence, 
which also happened at Marlborough. The Chelten- 
ham boys came to play Marlborough on their ground 
and were defeated, most of the runs having been made 
and most of the wickets taken by two boys named 
Wood and Stone. In chapel the hymn ' From Green- 
land's icy mountains ' was sung, where the lines 
occur : 

' The heathen in their blindness 
Bow down to wood and stone.' 

This also was purely accidental." 

Amid the mass of correspondence received about 
the hymn and Grace, the following from A. G. 
Bradley, now a Master at Marlborough, deserves 
quotation : ' ' The point is that to the natural delight 
and surprise of the boys, the champion, after making 
six in the first over, was bowled clean and his wickets 
sent flying the first ball of the second, by a very 
fast bowler of low stature, J. A. Kempe, a Devon- 
shire boy, well known at the Sidmouth and Teign- 
bridge cricket weeks, which were the chief feature 
of the far-west country cricket in those days. The 
next Lansdowne player was despatched almost 
immediately by the same bowler and, as he took off 
his pads, remarked : ' Beastly bad light. I could 
have played that ball easily if I could have seen it.' 
* It was just the opposite with me,' said W. G. f 
' I could see it perfectly, but I couldn't play it.' ' 

DR. W. G. GRACE 55 

Here may be appropriately inserted the recollec- 
tions of an old Old Marlbornian and subsequent 
county comrade, R. F. Miles, who writes : 

" My earliest recollection of W. G. Grace was in 
the year 1865, when he and E. M. came down to 
play against Marlborough College. This was the year 
after he had startled the cricket world by making 
170 and 56 not out against the Gentlemen of Sussex. 
I was fortunate enough to bowl out both brothers 
pretty cheaply in the first innings, but in the second 
both had their revenge. W. G. was then only six- 
teen, a long, lanky boy, who bowled very straight 
with a good natural leg curl. A year or two later, 
probably 1869 rather than 1868, I saw him run in a 
440 yards Strangers' Race at Oxford. He had 
broadened and filled out a good deal. About this 
time and in 1868, I played in two or three matches, 
very close ones, against him and several of his 
brothers at Knole Park. He was bowling very well 
then, medium pace. I do not think he took to 
bowling slows until after 1870. 

From 1870 to 1880, 1 played a great deal of county 
cricket under his captaincy. My view has always 
been that he was far and away the greatest cricketer 
that ever lived, not only because of his great scores 
but also for the fact that he generally had to go in 
immediately after a long spell of bowling, whereas 
most great batsmen have not been bowlers. More- 
over, in those early days grounds were not kept in 
the perfection they are now. Bramall Lane was 
generally a bad wicket, and I remember W. G. having 
an over from Clayton in which he received two balls 
on the ribs, one on the beard and a dead shooter, 
yet he compiled a century. 

One of the most comical incidents I remember in 
connection with him was in a local match at Thorn- 
bury, in which W. G. played for Thornbury and 
his eldest brother Henry a very straight medium 


bowler and myself played against him. Henry 
Grace hit W. G. on the leg and appealed. The local 
umpire would not have dared give him out, but 
Henry Grace shook his fist in his face and said : 
4 Be a man, be a man.' Then the umpire yielded to 
the most adjacent danger and said ' Out.' The Old 
Man did not quite like it, but could not help laughing 
at his brother's attitude. 

As a captain, W. G. was a very good judge of bats- 
men's weaknesses. I remember, v. Sussex at Chel- 
tenham, feeling quite pleased at catching a man out 
at point. As the next man came in, W. G. changed 
places with me, caught the newcomer that over close 
in and then changed places again ! " 

A Year of Triumph 


WHILST Bismarck was carrying out his offensive 
schemes against unhappy France in 1870, 
W. G. Grace was triumphantly supreme in the peace- 
ful cricket grounds of England. Lilly white had 
stated that he " is, of course, at the top of the tree ; 
who would dream of disputing his claim to the 
championship ? That the day be far distant when 
his peerless science and hitting cease to charm a 
crowded ring is our most earnest hope." For over 
thirty-five years yet he was to be well before the 
public. Still quoting from the green annual : " Each 
succeeding season adds to his reputation. Always 
to be reckoned on for a very long stay at the wickets, 
he is undoubtedly at once the quickest run getter 
and surest batsman in England." In thirty-eight 
innings, with 5 not outs, he averaged 54 with an 
aggregate of 1,808, opening with eleven consecutive 
double-figure contributions, followed by a century ; 
four others came later, only once was he dismissed 
without scoring bowled by J. C. Shaw and only on 
six other occasions did he fail to get double figures, 
never twice in the same match. It is curious that 
in matches in which professionals were opposed to 
him, he was never dismissed in 1870 by an amateur 



bowler, was only once l.b.w. and in every other 
instance was either bowled or caught. 

On the last day of May against Yorkshire at Lord's, 
he played an innings of 66 which he himself always 
regarded as the finest of his whole . career. It is 
alluded to by his partner in the stand, the late 
C. E. Green, in his reminiscences at the close of the 
present chapter, but a further quotation must be 
made from the History of Yorkshire Cricket, by 
Rev. R. vS. Holmes : 

" Of that match W. G. Grace has put on record 
that he ' stood up to Emmett and Freeman on 
one of the roughest, bumpiest wickets we had now 
and then on that ground. About every third or 
fourth ball kicked badly and we were hit all over the 
body and had to dodge an occasional one with our 
heads. Shooters were pretty common on the same 
wicket, and what with playing one ball and dodging 
another, we had a lively and unenviable time of it.' 
Freeman thus spoke of it to me in 1894: 'Tom 
Emmett and I have often said it was a marvel the 
doctor was not either maimed or unnerved for the 
rest of his days or killed outright. I often think of 
his pluck when I watch a modern batsman scared 
if a medium-paced ball hits him on the hand ; he 
should have seen our expresses flying about his ribs, 
shoulders and head in 1870.' Emmett quaintly 
remarked to me that he did not believe ' W. G. 
had a square inch of sound flesh on his body after 
that innings,' whilst C. I. Thornton, who has seen 
as much good cricket as anybody, and who is 
without the shrewdest of critics, has pronounced 
W. G.'s 66 the best innings he ever saw." 

Though W. G. frequently spoke of this perform- 
ance as his best, there is a conflicting testimony 

DR. W. G. GRACE . 59 

on the point in a letter from the late Henry Perkins, 
who wrote : 

" I have often been asked which was the finest 
innings I ever saw W. G. play. My answer is always 
the same : July 10, 1871, Single v. Married, 189 not 
out, total score 310. Rain stopped play at frequent 
intervals and the wicket at times was apparently 
unplayable. I think on the last occasion that this 
question was put to me, W. G. was appealed to in 
my presence and confirmed my judgment." 

The season at the headquarters of the game opened 
with a futile match between Left-Handed and Right- 
Handed, which had not previously been played since 
1838 and has not been repeated, despite occasional 
suggestions by correspondents in newspapers. 
Grace enjoyed a bowling spell, claiming 6 wickets for 
24 runs, followed up by 5 for 34 v. Surrey. 

Gloucestershire came into being as an actual 
cricket county, twice playing Surrey and once 
M.C.C., winning the home match by 51 runs and the 
two on metropolitan grounds with an innings to- 
spare. W. G.'s share was considerable, for, at the 
Oval, in three and a half hours, he hit grandly for 143 
and then took 8 wickets for 52 runs, whilst at Lord's 
in conjunction with C. S. Gordon he put up 139 for 
the first wicket, his own 172, " as usual, a magnificent 
display perhaps considering the excellence of the 
bowling and the badness of the light and ground, 
one of his very best innings, whilst 7 wickets for 65 
were also recorded to his credit." At this period,, 
and for many subsequent seasons, the western 
county played a wholly amateur side. In the six 
innings, only the three Graces and R. F. Miles went 
on to bowl, whilst in an additional minor match with 
Glamorganshire W. G. scored 197, being five hours 
at the wicket. 

The rivalry between W. G. Grace and Richard 


Daft yielded a tie in the encounter of M.C.C. v. Notts, 
for each made exactly the same score 117, but W. G. 
went in first and carried out his bat, no one else 
except I. D. Walker who helped him to put up 127 
before a wicket fell getting double figures. This 
was the match in which Summers was killed and W. G. 
was the earliest to render him medical assistance 
after he had fallen from the force of the blow on the 
cheek bone. In the second innings J. C. Shaw 
bowled Grace without a run and smashed the middle 

The extreme freedom with which Grace hit the 
bowling of both University elevens was commented on 
at the time, but when he came to oppose the Players 
for the Gentlemen he was yet more paramount. 
At the Oval the paid representatives were sadly 
weak in bowling and runs came as plentifully as 
blackberries at the second effort of the amateurs. 
W. G. Grace, at the outset, found an able partner in 
J. W. Dale, who helped him to put up 164 before they 
were parted. When stumps were drawn for the 
night, the champion was still in with 175 to his 
credit and next morning he added 40 more, his 215 
being the largest score so far ever recorded in these 
pre-eminent encounters. He exceeded it by two 
runs next year at Brighton, but until the war only 
thrice have these been surpassed, Abel's 247 at the 
Oval in 1901 being the absolute highest. Grace's 
effort is described as " one that will never be for- 
gotten by those fortunate enough to witness it. His 
hitting was extraordinary and his wonderful run- 
getting powers were never more brilliantly exempli- 
fied. A splendid on-drive [off Wootton] for seven 
(made into eight by an overthrow), three fives and 
seventeen fours were his principal hits." 

Contrary to the usual custom, the Players' side 
at Lord's was far from being representative, and again 
W. G. Grace took a pitiless revenge on the attack, 
his 109, compiled in a little over three hours, being 

DR. W. G. GRACE 61 

the first sensation in the closely contested match 
which the Gentlemen won by only 4 runs, as C. K. 
Francis relates in the present chapter. Immediately 
afterwards the champion had another success in that 
usually big scoring match Gentlemen of the South 
v. Players of the South, making 66 out of the first 
95, being the first man out, his cutting being pro- 
nounced superb. He followed this up with a fault- 
less innings of 84 for M.C.C. and Ground v. Surrey, 
before he returned a ball to Southerton. Another 
remarkable performance has to be recorded for 
Gentlemen of the South v. Gentlemen of the North 
at Beeston near Nottingham. In the enormous score 
of 482, eight batsmen only contributed 19 runs 
between them, W. G. opening the innings with 77, 
G. F. getting 189 not out and I. D. Walker 179, 
Grace was fond of recalling that, off his bowling in 
this game, J. W. Dale was given out for a catch 
outside the boundary, the only experience of the kind 
he remembered. Finally, according to his habit of 
invariably " doing something " his own phrase 
in a benefit match, when Mortlock enjoyed a lucra- 
tive one at the Oval, W. G. showed his hardest 
hitting of the summer in a vigorous 42, before he was 
annexed at the wicket by Plumb, and 51 not out 
which proved a futile attempt to hit off the necessary 
runs before time, the bowlers carefully sending down 
balls too short for him to hit. The number of 
exhibition matches of those days furnished London 
with many opportunities of seeing W. G. Grace 
tackling the best bowling of the period. 

That fine bowler and able critic C. K. Francis 
writes : 

"Why it should ever have struck any one that I 
was a proper person to write on any theme of interest 
about W. G. Grace or could do so, I cannot say : 
but still there is one reason that suggests itself why 
I should have been asked, and that is because so many 


of my date, when I look back, have joined the great 
majority. For example, in the first year I was 
invited to play for Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's, 
in 1870, I notice that about eight of the amateur 
side are, alas ! no more. Another reason may be 
because from 1870 to 1875, W. G. was certainly at 
liis very best, and that was the precise period when I 
had most to do with him. How interesting it would 
have been before writing anything, if I could have 
compared notes with I. D. Walker, Ottaway, Jack 
Dale, Yardley, Appleby, Absolom, David Buchanan, 
Pauncefote, W. H. Hadow, the majority played 
in that match, all were playing about that time and 
all of them more qualified than I ever was to talk or 
write about Grace. As there still, however, remain 
so many much better cricketers than I ever was and 
their views may not coincide with my own, I admit 
I take on the task with a considerable amount of 

I should like to preface my remarks by saying 
that it was always a pleasure to play on the same 
side with one who was always so cheery. The keen- 
ness of W. G. never flagged ; though towering 
above his contemporaries there never was the slight- 
est ' side,' swagger or conceit about him ; his 
unparalleled success never turned his head. True, 
I often heard him say when he made nothing first 
innings : 'I'll get a hundred next time,' and he 
very often did so. He was always the same, and I 
cannot recall in the many matches we played together 
a single incident which in any way tended to mar the 
proper spirit in which cricket should be played. I 
am not saying that, occasionally, there may not have 
been some slight dissatisfaction or difference of 
opinion upon some umpire's decision, but who has 
ever played much cricket without, in his experience, 
occasionally such incidents arising ? I know I can 
plead guilty to having been at times very much 
-dissatisfied. How many cricketers does the reader 

DR. W. G. GRACE 63 

know who have said, after being given out l.b.w. 
or caught at the wicket, ' I was smack out and I 
know it ' ? My experience tells me that such 
would not form an infinitesimal minority. 

A great deal of water has run under London Bridge 
since I was for the first time in a field with W. G., 
and that was early in 1870. In that year I played a 
good many matches with him, fortunately for me, 
generally on the same side. My first was, however, 
against him as he came down to Oxford to play 
against the University. I was a freshman and 
probably bowled better then than at any time except 
when I was at school, and I very soon discovered 
(for I think I commenced the bowling) how feeble 
were my efforts and futile my attacks against his 
powerful and masterly methods of defence and punish- 
ment. Balls which, hitherto, others had treated with 
respect and played with even some difficulty, were 
all treated by him with the same ease and apparent 
contempt with which I afterwards saw him treat all 
bowlers alike. I began soon to realize what R. D. 
Walker once caustically said of my bowling, viz. that 
my ' long hops were really worth sixpence a piece,' 
was true, a retort which somehow I think I brought 
on myself by daring to refer in some disrespectful 
way to his own ' tossing up " half vollies." 

May I now say this of W. G.'s batting ? There 
was nothing very attractive in his style, which was 
quite different from that of any one else. There was 
none of the finished and graceful wrist-play of an 
Alfred Lubbock or Alfred Lyttelton or Charlie 
Buller, all beautiful players to watch batting. What 
always struck me about his own peculiar style was 
that he made batting look so ludicrously easy, the 
ball always seemed to hit the middle of his bat, his 
timing was so exact, he was never too soon or too 
late. I think he was more at home to fast bowling 
than to slow, and if investigation were made, I 
should say he more often succumbed to slow bowlers 


than to fast when at his best : e.g. to A. Shaw, 
Southerton, Briggs, Peel, Peate, Lohmann, though 
perhaps Briggs and Lohmann were more medium. I 
have noticed other admirable players who invariably 
seemed to hit the ball in the middle of the bat one 
who comes to my mind is A. P. Lucas but with this 
difference that, in his case, the ball seemed to be so 
much more often most accurately played straight 
into some field's hands, whereas with W. G. it was 
generally played, purposely and skilfully, to a spot 
where there happened to be no field and I think it 
was this which was so disconcerting to bowlers. 

Another point about his batting I should like to 
mention. I can hardly ever remember seeing W. G. 
intentionally leave balls alone on the off-side, which 
of late years has become so fashionable and weari- 
some and such a tedious abomination to onlookers 
who, like myself, occasionally are able to spend a few 
hours looking on. I have seen a whole over bowled 
and every ball left alone purposely, when the bats- 
man might as well have had a toothpick in his hand. 
Such extreme caution and fear of giving a catch in the 
slips was never in W. G.'s definition of cricket. Nor 
again can I ever remember W. G. stepping in 
front of his wicket without attempting to play the 
ball with his bat. No doubt his height was very 
useful to him in getting over a ball which possi- 
bly any one six inches shorter would have had 
difficulty in getting away from. 

No one that I ever saw possessed and used the 
same punishing power when in his prime (for the 
moment perhaps I ought to except C. I. Thornton) ; 
no one who ever lived ' knocked off ' all bowlers- 
alike in the same short space of time. Often a match 
was practically over in two hours, by which time he 
had settled all the bowlers. He was never what I 
should call a big hitter, for the enormous number of 
runs he got I should say he seldom made gigantic 
hits, but I have seen him hit a ball out of Lord's, and 

DR. W. G. GRACE 65 

once in Canada I saw him hit a ball into a house 130 
yards off in style which would have made ' Buns ' 
jealous. But it was not very often that he opened 
his huge shoulders in that way. 

I do not intend further to allude to his excelling 
all others, except in matches with which I was myself 
individually concerned. I was really on what I 
may describe as the high road of cricket only a few 
years : my days were pre- Australian days. But 
W. G. never left the high road : he was always on it r 
and on it from 1865 almost to 1905. No one ever kept 
up his cricket for the same length of time. Of course 
one could name instances like Lord Harris, Lord 
Hawke, A. N. Hornby and others who stuck to first- 
class cricket for years and years, but W. G.'s career 
extended over a much longer period than that of any 
other of these notables. The life that he led in the 
winter may, and no doubt did, tend to keep him 
hard and in fit condition : with his weight it is sur- 
prising that he did not break down more often. 
One point : I think he would have made a century in 
each innings far more often if he had had the chance : 
it should be remembered that constantly when he 
obtained a long score in the first innings, the match- 
was a victory by a single innings. 

To return to my own experiences with W. G. In 
1870, I played with him in the Gentlemen v. Players- 
match at Lord's, as I have observed, and I think I 
then did what very few can claim to have done, I 
a victim in a hat trick with Grace himself. In 
justice to him, it ought to be stated that he had made 
109. I followed and was bowled by a shooter and 
G. F. Grace followed suit. I do not remember 
being one of such a party before or since, and I cer- 
tainly could not have selected better company in 
which to distinguish myself ! Curiously, the bowler 
was not in those days a celebrated one, Tom Hay- 
ward (not of course the Surrey magnate). That 
match was one of the best I ever took part in 


and we only won by 4 runs ; for me the second close 
finish in ten days, the other being the celebrated 
Oxford and Cambridge match from which I have 
never quite recovered yet, and shall certainly never 
forget, when we lost by 2 runs. 

I think it should not be forgotten that W. G.'s 
performances at that period were not always on what 
I call the ' bread and butter ' wickets, which after- 
wards became so common. There were ' shooters ' 
at Lord's in those days : there are none now. By 
' shooters ' I mean real shooters, almost under- 
grounders, not a ball that keeps low, but one that 
hits the wicket at the bottom and never leaves the 
ground after it pitches, one which makes the bails 
fly forward on to the pitch. How often, I wonder, 
is that seen now ? Yet in 1870, it was not uncom- 
mon at Lord's, and no one then could get a hundred 
there against good bowling without having to play 
many such. One bowler I can recall who used to 
bowl more than his fair share of such shooters was 
George Wootton ; on other grounds not a more 
difficult bowler than many other good bowlers one 
could name, but at Lord's a terror to any one who, 
like myself, could never stop such a ball. To W. G., 
who was often opposed to Wootton, shooters were of 
no moment. He could always stop them with con- 
summate ease. He had no equal in this respect that 
I can remember except C. J. Ottaway, who hardly 
ever let one get by, a batsman with the strongest 
defence that I ever saw and one who was unfortu- 
tunately lost to the cricket- world at an early 

The late C. E. Green's reminiscences cover a far 
wider range, but they seem to be appropriate here 
because of the grand innings against Yorkshire 
mentioned earlier in the chapter and also because at 
this period he and Grace so often met in important 
encounters. His recollections ran as follows : 

DR. W. G. GRACE 67 

' The first time I ever saw W. G. was when he 
played in the Gentlemen v. Players match at Lord's 
in 1865. Even then, although he was a stripling 
of only seventeen years of age, he had a dark beard. 
Although at that time a capital bat, he was played 
in that particular match chiefly for his bowling. 
In those days his arm was as high as his shoulder 
that is as high as it was then allowed by cricket law 
and while his delivery was a nice one, his action 
was quite different to what it was in his later days ; 
it was more slinging and his pace was fast medium. 
He had not then acquired any of his subsequent 
craftiness with the ball. He used to bowl straight 
on the wicket, trusting to the ground to do the rest 
as it used to do in the sixties, as exemplified by old 
Jemmy Grundy of Notts, who at that time was the 
foremost and principal bowler on the staff of pro- 
fessionals at headquarters, which was at that time 
a very limited one as compared with what at present 
exists. Jemmy Grundy was a very accurate, straight 
good length bowler, whose accuracy and shooters 
were at that time a terror to batsmen at Lord's, but I 
doubt if he would have been very deadly or trouble- 
some on the present-day perfect wickets. 

Until I left Cambridge in 1868, I had no oppor- 
tunity of playing with W. G., as there were not so 
many matches in one season. Both he and I were 
in the following year elected members of the M.C.C., 
and thenceforward I played with him constantly in 
a great many matches, viz. M.C.C., South v. North, 
Gentlemen of South v. Players of South and Gentle- 
men v. Players, alike at Lord's, the Oval and Prince's. 

By the way, no one seems now to remember that 
at the time I was an Undergraduate, there was a 
report that W. G. was coming up to Cambridge and 
going into residence at Caius, which has always been 
regarded as a medical college. This rumour created 
at the time a lot of excitement amongst the cricket 
set at Cambridge, and years afterwards, when I 


mentioned the subject to W. G., his reply was : 
' Yes, I really came very near doing so.' 

A vivid recollection in my memory is seeing W. G. 
running in some sports at Blackheath in 1868, which 
were held in connection with the old Paragon Cricket 
Club. The sports were not held on the club ground, 
which was on the Heath, but in Mr. Angerstein's 
park. In the open events, W. G. won the 100 
yards, the quarter mile and the hurdles. He had 
rather a lolloping style with a tremendous stride, and 
I always remember that, on that occasion, he wore 
salmon coloured running drawers. In those days he 
was comparatively slight but very tall. 

W. G. was a real glutton for cricket. Any tem- 
porary friction in which he was ever involved was 
invariably due to his keenness. Nothing could ever 
quench his passion for bowling, and I remember once 
in a match between the Gentlemen of the South and 
the Players of the South at the Oval, our attack was 
completely tied up. I. D. Walker, who was captain, 
came up to W. G. and me and asked our opinion as 
to the desirability of a change and consulted us as to 
whom he should put on. W. G., who was bowling 
from the pavilion end, said quite seriously, ' I tell 
you what, I'll go on at the other end.' It never 
occurred to him for a moment that he himself should 
be taken off ! 

I well recollect the match which was played on 
the Sussex county ground at Brighton Gentlemen 
v. Players for the benefit of old Jack Lillywhite. 
In this particular match, W. G. got a duck in the first 
innings and scored 217 in the second. As far as I 
can recollect, the game ended in a draw, R. A. H. 
Mitchell, I. D. Walker and G. F. Grace, in addition 
to W. G., all making fairly large scores. For this 
match, I was staying with some friends in Palmeira 
Square, Brighton, and in the evening, after the first 
day's play, we were at dinner, when the butler came 
into the room, and approaching my host in a mys- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 69 

terious way, whispered to him that there was a 
burglar in the house. Some of us went upstairs in 
search of the intruder, whilst others went to the 
front of the house in case he should try to get out 
that way. We who had gone upstairs chased the 
burglar on to the balcony in the front of the house 
and he slid down the pillars of the portico right into 
the hands of those who were waiting there. The 
next day we were relating the incident to W. G., 
who, with his mind always full of cricket, remarked: 
' What a ripping good catch it must have been.' 
After the match I remember Jack Lillywhite bringing 
out the large gold cup, which had been presented to 
him by the Sussex County Cricket Club, and filling 
it with champagne and handing it round to the 
players ; and what a very long and deep draught old 
W. G. did take ! 

I well remember the M.C.C. v. Yorkshire match at 
Lord's in 1870, when W. G. played what I consider 
(and I believe he also did) to be one of his very finest 
innings. He and I were at the wicket together 
during a pretty long partnership and Freeman and 
Emmett, who were then at their very best, were 
bowling against us. We were both cruelly battered 
about ; indeed to this day I carry a mark on my 
chest where I was struck by a very fast rising ball 
from Freeman. I may say that on this occasion the 
pitch was one of those typical Lord's fiery wickets 
which were generally experienced on that ground in 
those days. 

Grace and I were also playing together in the 
match, M.C.C. and Ground v. Nottinghamshire at 
Lord's in 1870, when poor George Summers was 
knocked out by a fast ball from Platts the Derbyshire 
bowler. When this occurred, I was fielding longstop, 
and somehow or other I was the first to pick him up. 
It was an awful blow on the cheek bone. I remember 
W. G., who had made 117, feeling his pulse and simply 
remarking, ' He is not dead.' Summers was carried 


off insensible to the hotel on the ground, and I have 
always understood that he would have recovered, and 
his life been spared, if he would only have agreed to 
keep quiet. Instead of this, he would insist, quite 
against the doctor's orders, upon coming on the 
ground the next day and watching the match, sitting 
all the time in a hot sun. After that he travelled by 
train to Nottingham, where he died. This tragic occur- 
rence led to a rather humorous incident. The next 
man to come in to bat after Summers was knocked 
out was Richard Daft, who was always very dapper 
and rather full of self-importance. I shall never 
forget his coming out of the pavilion with two large 
towels bound round his head as a protection against 
the bowling, which was somewhat alarming at the 
time. I do not think I ever saw anything quite so 
ludicrous as was Daft's appearance at the wicket on 
that occasion. 

The last time I ever played with W. G. was in the 
M.C.C. Centenary Week, when I was one of the 
Eighteen Veterans who played against the Gentlemen 
of the M.C.C. Grace, of course playing against us 
for the Club, was photographed in both groups of 
the teams by special request. The dinner took 
place the evening before the commencement of the 
match and was served in the old tennis court. 
Chandos Leigh, the President of the Club for that 
year, presided. I recollect R. A. H. Mitchell, who 
sat near me, chaffingly saying, ' Won't all you veter- 
ans be stiff to-morrow night.' But, as a matter of 
fact, we went in first and made over three hundred, 
and in a drawn match, we old crocks had certainly 
the best of the game. V. E. Walker was captain of 
the Veterans, and I remember that both he and 
C. G. Lane, the two oldest members of our side, 
fielded in tennis shoes, and, the ground being very 
hard, they both often slipped while fielding and 
fell down. 

Some little time after the Essex county ground at 

DR. W. G. GRACE 71 

Leyton was opened, our committee were anxious to 
get it more widely known, and as W. G. was still a 
great draw, I asked him if he would bring down an 
M.C.C. side to play against the county. He did so, 
and during the match was my guest at home, together 
with A. P. Lucas and H. G. Owen, who were playing 
for Essex. Of course Bunny Lucas and W. G. had 
very many cricket yarns and reminiscences that they 
were able to recall. I also remember that we had a 
party of young people in the house, and W. G. was 
just like a boy, playing round games, and telling 
lots of amusing stories. At that time I was Master of 
the Essex Hounds, and knowing that Grace was 
interested in hunting, I had the hounds brought up 
to the house one morning at breakfast time for him to 
see. He thoroughly enjoyed this and rather to my 
surprise I discovered that he really knew something 
about a hound. He was also very appreciative of a 
big grey horse which I had at that time, and he told 
me that he would like to come back to Epping in the 
winter for a day's hunting with the Essex Hounds. 
For years afterwards whenever we met, he would 
sing out, ' How's my old grey horse ? ' 

This little hunting incident reminds me that on one 
occasion when Gloucestershire were playing Middle- 
sex, their fast bowler of that time was unable to play. 
Charles Turner, who was then the first whip to Lord 
Fitz Hardinge, had acquired a great local reputation 
as a successful bowler in country matches, and hear- 
ing of this, W. G. at once telegraphed for him to come 
to Lord's and play in the match. Bowling, however, 
against I. D. Walker, A. J. Webbe and other good 
batsmen then in their prime ; and playing in cricket 
which was naturally of a very different kind from that 
to which he had been accustomed, poor Turner was 
knocked all over the ground. Flopping heavily 
down beside me after the match, W. G., in his usual 
outspoken manner, exclaimed : ' Charlie, no more 
huntsmen for me in county cricket.' 


I have a very vivid recollection of the University 
match at Lord's in 1895, when W. G.'s eldest son 
played for the first time for Cambridge. I can picture 
to myself now W. G., resplendent in a long frock coat 
and high silk hat, and how happy and proud he was. 
At that time, I always used to have one of the private 
boxes over the grand-stand, where my party of 
friends used to view the match and have luncheon, 
etc. I remember meeting W. G. and Mrs. Grace, to 
whom he introduced me, and I asked them to come up 
to my box at luncheon time. This they did, and by 
that time old W. G. was happier and prouder than 
ever, as his son had played a really good innings and 
I think had scored something over 40 runs. During 
the same afternoon at the close of the innings, my 
party had gone down to join in the customary 
promenade round the ground, and upon returning to 
our box, to my astonishment, I found there was con- 
siderable difficulty in effecting an entrance. The 
explanation of this was that dear old W. G. in the 
fulness of his heart and the intensity of his happiness, 
had himself invited most of the members of both 
the Oxford and Cambridge teams into my box to 
celebrate the occasion ! 

Reverting again to W. G. himself as a cricketer, 
I may say he was a most delightful man to be in 
with, being such a splendid judge of a run. Another 
thing about him was his generous appreciation of 
other people's play. His constitution and energy 
were tremendous. He never seemed to tire, and 
after he had made a century, if it was necessary, he 
would proceed as carefully as ever to endeavour to 
put up a second. I should have said that about the 
years 1873-4-5, Grace took part in most of the 
matches which were played by the United South of 
England XI in different parts of the country ; 
and very amusing were some of the stories that used 
to be told of how some of the country and local 
players used to be spoofed by old W. G. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 73 

I should like to add that in my opinion no other 
batsman has ever approached W. G. If he had, 
when a young man, played on the wickets on which 
modern cricketers achieved their fame, I do not 
think he would ever have been got out except by a 
fluke. He always seemed like staying, and in his 
great days he looked perfectly comfortable with any 
bowling. I should say that Ranji, in that marvellous 
effort of his on a very difficult wicket at Manchester 
for England against the Australians, came nearest 
to W. G. because runs took a lot of making on that 
day. However, in the days when Grace was at 
his best, runs always had to be fought for, whereas 
on modern grounds, runs just come, if you can only 
stay in.. 

Sometimes some of us did not always see quite 
eye to eye with him in everything, but, during the 
forty odd years of our very intimate acquaintance, 
and I may say friendship, we never had the slightest 
disagreement except upon one occasion, when we 
had one rather serious difference of opinion which 
resulted in our not speaking to each other for a year. 
This was in consequence of some unfortunate inci- 
dents during a match between Essex and Gloucester- 
shire, when from his excessive keenness I con- 
sidered he had been guilty of rather sharp practices. 
However, I am very happy to say that eventually 
after mutual explanations and most handsome 
admissions on his part, we became greater and 
warmer friends than ever. 

W. G. always inspired a big love in all our hearts, 
and at his funeral some felt we had parted not only 
from a great all-round sportsman and a very close 
friend, but from a great landmark in our own lives. 
Looking back on cricket, why the very word suggests 
W. G., and especially to all of us who have had the 
happiness and good fortune to go into the field with 
this great master." 

Supremacy in England and in the West 


THE year of years for W. G. Grace was without 
doubt 1871. In that season he achieved 
such triumphs as could never recur in the twentieth 
century owing to the improved condition of the 
wicket. He attained the marvellous average of 78 
(proxime accessit the 35 of G. F. Grace) for an aggre- 
gate of 2,739, so that with two more innings he made 
nearly a thousand runs more than in the previous 
summer and increased his average by 24 runs per 
innings. Twice he exceeded the second century, 
on eight other occasions he exceeded three figures, 
whilst only in four efforts was he dismissed for single- 
figure contributions apart from two ducks' eggs, both 
at the hands of J. C. Shaw. Only seven times was 
he bowled, twice l.b.w., twice run out, with once 
stumped, but a large proportion of his causes of dis- 
missal were snicks at the wicket. He opened his 
account with the striking series of 181, 23, 98, 118, 
178 and 162, whilst after each of his noughts in the 
second innings he retorted with one of the two con- 
tributions exceeding two hundred. Small wonder 
that it was felt that his very presence at the wicket 
paralyzed the opposing attack. It should be added 
that only K. S. Ranjitsinhji in 1900 ever exceeded 


DR. W. G. GRACE 75 

this average, his being 80 for a total of 3,065, but 
under infinitely easier circumstances, as he himself 
modestly emphasized. 

Also it must be remembered that in bowling 
" W. G. Grace, though more expensive than several 
other amateurs, decidedly deserves the palm, for in 
many of the great matches he has not been put on to- 
bowl till the batsmen have got well set and knocked 
the crack professionals off. His analysis of 79, 
wickets, at an average cost of 17 runs, constitutes 
no mean performance, and it should be borne in 
mind that on many occasions his bowling has followed 
almost directly after one of his monster innings of 
three or four hours duration." 

At Lord's turnstiles were first used on May 15, 1871,. 
and W. G. Grace commemorated the innovation 
with a wonderful 181 for M.C.C. and Ground v. 
Surrey in a little over four hours, one very hard 
chance being the only semblance of a mistake. A 
six and four fives, all big drives, showed his apprecia- 
tion of the bowling, and the opposing totals in neither 
case were equal to his own contribution. Against 
Yorkshire an irreproachable 98 was terminated by 
his being thrown out. On the Middlesex county 
ground at Lillie Bridge, he rattled up 118 very 
quickly for Gentlemen of South v. Gentlemen of 
North, as well as claiming half a dozen wickets. It 
was not often that Appleby and David Buchanan 
came in for such rough treatment. Reappearing at 
Lord's for the Whit-Monday North v. South match, 
he gave a display of almost hurricane hitting, scoring 
his 178 at the rate of 60 r/tms an hour without a mis- 
take. At one period he made 20 runs off five conse- 
cutively bowled balls sent down by J. C. Shaw, the 
rest of the attack thus contemptuously treated being 
composed of Alfred Shaw, Wootton, Clayton and 
Mclntyre. " His innings, which comprised three 
fives and twenty fours, was certainly one of the very 
best he ever played no mean praise." Yet again 


each total of the opposing eleven fell short of his 
own contribution. 

Making his first appearance at Fenner's, W. G. 
Grace for the Gentlemen of England v. Cambridge 
University, scored so rapidly, that when 103 was put 
up for the first wicket, A. J. Wilkinson left having 
only made 19, and the champion's 162 was his pro- 
portion of 255 before he was out, having two sixes, 
three fives and nine fours in his chanceless display. 
Oddly enough for the next three weeks he did little 
with the bat save 88 for M.C.C. and Ground v. Middle- 
sex compiled in two hours in conjunction with John 
Smith " by some of the fastest run-getting ever 
witnessed at Lord's." What was curious about this 
match was that the Club was beaten by an innings 
after making a first total of 338. Even for Gentle- 
men v. Players (in the first unfinished contest at St. 
John's Wood between these sides since 1839), Grace 
was barely at his best, for his 50 was for him a patient 
and cautious innings. But at the Oval when the 
amateurs were set 144 to get in 105 minutes, he opened 
the account with a free and resolute 43, after having 
caught out five opponents. 

Married v. Single was revived, having been last 
played in 1858, Carpenter and Richard Daft being the 
only two who participated in both matches. It was 
selected for the benefit of Willsher. " For the Single, 
W. G. Grace went in first and carried out his bat for 
189, obtained in a little more than four and a half 
hours and comprising three fives and fourteen fours. 
This enormous score was put together without the 
vestige of a chance against the bowling of Howitt, 
A. and J. C. Shaw, Southerton, Iddison and G. M. 
Kelson, and was throughout absolutely faultless. 
When it is considered that the rain frequently stopped 
play, that the light was at times extremely bad and 
the wicket much cut up towards the close of the day, 
this innings may be fairly classed among the finest 
performances ever achieved." The next highest 

DR. W. G. GRACE 77 

score on the side was 33 by G. F. Grace, and the 
totals of the Married were 159 and 78. This was the 
consummate effort referred to in the letter, already 
quoted, by that fine judge the late Henry Perkins. 

An intensely exciting match between M.C.C. and 
Grounds. Surrey at the Oval terminated in a victory 
for the county by a single wicket its solitary success 
of that season and the result was oddly ascribed to 
the incompetence of the Club wicket-keeper. W. G, 
Grace contributed 146 out of 218 whilst in and saw 
seven of the side out. Ten days later in North v. 
South, also at the Oval, played for the benefit of H. H. 
Stephenson, J. C. Shaw obtained Grace's wicket 
first ball on an appeal for obstruction, " and for 
once I am bound to say I think the verdict was 
right," was W. G.'s own comment, but a terrific 
revenge was taken for this cheap dismissal. At the 
second effort, W. G. was caught off his glove at the 
wicket, " a remarkably smart catch high up, from a 
bumpy ball," after a stay exceeding five hours, being 
credited with the great score of 268, the largest he 
ever made in London. It was obtained against some 
of the best bowling, all alike punished with equal 
severity, and contained only one chance to Finder at 
the wicket after he had made 153 ; " and his defence, 
hitting and placing were alike perfect, his innings- 
from first to last being a masterpiece." Whilst he 
was scoring his first 142 runs in a little over two hours 
on the Tuesday evening, his companions contributed 
only 47. The Surrey Club presented him with a new 
bat, inscribed suitably on a gold plate, as well as- 
the ball he hit about to such an extent. About this 
period, though all pitches seemed to come alike to 
him, the Oval could be regarded as his most con- 
genial ground, and, in his whole career, he averaged 
43 per innings on it as compared with 36 on Lord's, 
his average everywhere being 39. 

As was now customary he was the special star in 
the constellation of the Canterbury Festival, which 


was, if possible, more successful that year than usual. 
A late train prevented him going in first, but he 
scored 31 and 40 for the South, the second effort 
being terminated by an adverse appeal for run out, 
which he never forgot and which others also regarded 
as erroneous. Mention must be made of a splendid 
c. and b. with which he dismissed Ephraim Lockwood. 
The M.C.C. side against Kent was entirely amateur, 
and the victory by an innings and 47 runs was 
mainly due to the all-round efforts of Grace, for he 
claimed twelve wickets, bowling unchanged through- 
out, and scored 117, including seventeen fours, before 
he was caught at point. He and J. W. Dale put 
up 107 for the first wicket, of which his colleague's 
share was 36. 

Thence he went on to Brighton to accomplish one 
of those innings which became among the most 
traditional of his career. This visit to the town 
was for John Lillywhite's benefit. The Walkers had 
collected fine sides for Gentlemen v. Players and, con- 
sidering the notorious apathy of the Brighton public 
to cricket in the twentieth century, it is interesting 
to note that thirteen thousand spectators were 
present. Again J. C. Shaw dismissed Grace first 
ball, this time with a breakback, and again abundant 
vengeance was taken at the second effort. True, 
Daft would have caught him early if the sun had not 
been in his eyes, but such incidents are in the fortune 
of the game. Once W. G. had played himself in, the 
rest of his 217 was splendidly compiled. His chief 
Mts were one six, driven hard off a slow from Daft, 
and thirty-one fours, whilst he was only four hours 
making this great score, the partnership of 241 with 
G. F. Grace being registered in 150 minutes, whilst 
seven wickets fell to his bowling. His dismissal came 
through the wicket-keeper, H. Phillips, running to 
short-leg to secure a ball the champion had cocked up 
off a slow from Southerton. Seldom prone to dilate 
on his own scores, W. G. could generally be induced 

DR. W. G. GRACE 79 

to talk gleefully of this one, that remained among his 
pleasantest memories. It must not escape notice 
that his three largest contributions of this, his best, 
season, 268, 217 and 189 not out, were all made in 
benefit matches, so that the money he must have put 
into the pockets of the professional beneficiares can 
be regarded as a substantial part of their receipts 
(he being of course the main attraction), and this was 
a point that gave him sincere pleasure. W. G.'s own 
reminiscence of being bowled by J. C. Shaw in the 
first innings is well worth quoting : 

" I was naturally disappointed at not having done 
more for good old John, and before I went in the 
second time I made my apologies to him for my 
deficiencies in the first innings. He was not taking 
any apologies, however, and insisted on presenting 
me with two sovereigns on the condition that I was 
to give him back sixpence for every run that I made. 
At the end of the day's play I had scored two hun- 
dred and had completely forgotten my compact 
with John. On my arrival at the pavilion, he 
quietly came up to me and said : ' I will thank you 
for 5 on account/ I handed over the fiver with a 
rather woe-begone air I suppose, for with a merry 
twinkle in his eye, he said : ' I'm quite content to cry 
quits on the bargain as far as it has gone if you 
are.' I was, I don't mind confessing, as I was in 
rare batting fettle and the wicket was like a billiard 
table. After all I should only have had to give him 
8s. 6d. more, as I only got 17 runs the next day." 

" The county of the Graces " had a more ambitious 
programme and in its success W. G. had no small 
share, though only once, when he took four Surrey 
wickets for 17 runs, did he do much with the ball. 
Against Notts, with E. M., he scored 134 for the 
first wicket, the first time that the Midland eleven 
had ever had 100 hoisted under similar circum- 


stances. Stimulated by having to meet both the 
Shaws and W. Mclntyre, his 78 was a grand displa}', 
including ten fours, his driving and square-leg hitting 
being especially brilliant. The return evoked the 
greatest interest as W. G. had not previously played 
on the Trent Bridge ground, ten thousand people 
watching the game on the first day. His earlier 
effort of 79 was strictly defensive, his side being in 
dire straits, the next best contribution being G. F.'s 
24. Following on, W. G. did not go in until three 
wickets had fallen. After his dismissal in the first 
innings, Richard Daft remarked : " You ought to 
have made a hundred ; it's never been done in a first- 
class match on this ground." Grace replied, chaff- 
ingly : ' ' Why did you not tell me before and I would 
have done it. Nevermind, I'll do it next innings," 
and he proceeded to play a magnificent 116 with- 
out a shadow of a chance in three hours, just manag- 
ing to save a single innings defeat. " Before the 
game commenced bets of 20 to i were made that he 
would not reach three figures in either innings. 
All the factory hands for miles around struck work to 
see the game and during lunch straggled across the 
ground to ' bowl a few ' to the champion." 

Two other performances must be chronicled. 
For M.C.C. and Ground v. Sussex at Lord's he in- 
dulged in hitting worthy of C. I. Thornton or G. L. 
Jessop. He made 44 out of the first 50 runs in 
twenty-five minutes and was only forty minutes 
at the wicket when he was stumped for 59, his foot 
slipping owing to the lack of fresh spikes in his 
boot. This 59 out of 83 was obtained off 51 balls 
in twenty-seven hits. Finally, as Willsher's match 
had been a failure at Lord's, owing to rain, a second 
benefit was given to him at Maidstone. Kent was 
to have played Gloucestershire, but W. G. Grace had 
perforce to bring a very scratch side. Coming for 
the first time to the Mote Park ground, he carried 
his bat through the first innings of 141, his own share 

DR. W. G. GRACE 81 

being 81, and in the second he was again not out with 
42 to his credit. In one over, off R. Lipscomb, he 
hit a six and two fours. He also bowled clean 
through both Kent innings, taking 10 wickets for 15 
runs apiece, and he was never out of the field whilst a 
ball in the match was played : an energetic termina- 
tion to an unparalleled summer's work. 

The contemporaneous tribute from the review of 
the season in Lilly white's Companion is of perennial 
interest : 

" In fact the batting of him who has earned the 
title of the champion cricketer and most certainly 
his equal has never been seen has been the leading 
feature of the season. His defence has been more 
stubborn, his hitting more brilliant and his timing 
and placing of the ball more judicious and skilful 
than during any previous summer, and it is a com- 
mon occurrence to see him defy the combined efforts 
of the best bowlers in England for the whole of an 
afternoon. He is also unsurpassed in the field, not 
unfrequently a successful bowler, and always an 
excellent general and tactician." 

For any batsman to have an average of 54 and then 
to suggest that his performances savour of anti- 
climax is absurd ; but at the same time W. G. 
Grace's season of 1872 can only be regarded as less 
in importance than that preceding it by sheer 
comparison with that one, whilst his bowling average 
advanced from 17 to n runs per wicket. In estimat- 
ing it too, it must be borne in mind that he did not 
play after Canterbury Week owing to his Canadian 
trip, whereas in 1871, subsequent to that festival, 
he had scored 558 in only five completed innings, 
whilst 1872 was a wet season. 

He opened his account as early as April 29 at 
Edgehill near Liverpool in the first of the four 
matches played that summer between the United 
North and South Elevens. His mood was of the 


liveliest, for on being put in by the opposing captain 
Iddison he proceeded to hit finely for 65 out of 
87 while at the wicket. Of the rest, only Jupp, who 
went in first with him, exceeded 14 in the whole 
fixture, whilst the North scored 19 less than W. G. 
in their first effort against Southerton and James 
Lillywhite. An experiment was made at Lord's 
with wickets an inch higher and an inch broader 
than usual in a game between XI of M.C.C. v. Next 
XX. The innovation was not repeated and there 
was only one double-figure score in the game besides 
those of W. G. Grace and J. W. Dale, who put up 
60 for the first wicket of the Eleven. Prince's 
ground was inaugurated with a representative North 
v. South encounter, but rain limited the play to 
four hours. W. G., however, led off with a superb 87, 
he and W. Yardley having a lively contest to see 
which could score the faster. They made 160 and 
the other nine were accountable for 24 between them. 
Two remarkably strong sides were collected for 
M.C.C. and Ground v. Yorkshire and Grace showed 
marked superiority over all the other batsmen. His 
first beautiful score of 101 proved quite faultless and 
was terminated by an innocuous slow underhand 
from Iddison. No one laughed more than the retir- 
ing batsman. When the Club wanted 82 to win, 
W. G. hit so hard for 43 not out that fifty minutes 
sufficed to get them. For M.C.C. and Ground v. 
Cambridge University, when the Club required 95 
for victory, 5 wickets fell for 19. Then Grace pulled 
the match through, obtaining 54 not out, including 
three fives, his driving of the erratic deliveries of 
W. N. Powys being especially noteworthy. It may be 
of interest to state that W. G. said he was the fastest 
bowler he ever batted to. 

Once again Grace rose to his best in the biggest 
matches of the year. No fault could be found with a 
single selection for Gentlemen v. Players and Grace 
proved the transcendent cricketer. It is true he 

DR. W. G. GRACE 83 

nearly put up a ball early to short-leg, but his 77 was 
a long way the best contribution in the first half of 
the match. As often happened if Richard Daft 
ran into three figures, W. G. also credited himself with 
a century. In this case the famous Notts captain in 
his 102 gave the best prof essional batting display of 
the year. To make 224 on fourth hands in those 
days at Lord's was truly formidable. But Grace 
rendered the task absurdly easy. He did not go in 
until the third morning, one wicket that of A. N. 
Hornby having been obtained overnight. In two 
and a quarter hours he " hit away with even more 
than his wonted brilliancy and effect," his 112 out 
of 152 his partner was C. J. Ottaway " being an 
absolutely perfect display of batting and devoid of 
the remotest semblance of a chance." It is remark- 
able that only three left-handed bowlers, Appleby, 
Buchanan and Powys, were put on in the first 
innings of the Players and they accounted for all the 
wickets in both efforts. 

The return at the Oval began on the next day and 
for once the Players eleven there was as strong as at 
Lord's, the only change being the substitution of 
Emmett for Alfred Shaw. W. G. Grace opened 
with 117, including a six and three fives, compiled in 
three hours, his partnership with A. N. Hornby fairly 
collaring the formidable attack. He then returned 
to Lord's to play his third consecutive innings of over 
a hundred in five days. For England v. Notts and 
Yorkshire, he went in first and carried out his bat 
for 170 out of 290, offering an excellent display 
" without giving a single chance, and more than one 
good judge of the game declared that a finer innings 
was never played." ' This was the second time the 
veteran R. Carpenter played in the same eleven as 
W. G., and when he retired he remarked : ' It was 
not so much of a catch after all to play on the same 
side as Mr. Grace, as most of your time is spent 
running his runs.' " As a curiosity it may be men- 


tioned that play was continued until five minutes to 
eight on the second evening to finish what proved a 
desultory match. Grace signalized the close of his 
metropolitan appearances with yet another century 
for South v. North, in Griffith's benefit match. Jupp 
helped him to put up 121 for the first wicket and the 
114 finally to his credit contained only one faulty 
stroke in its rapid accomplishment. He also claimed 
eleven wickets for a dozen runs apiece, but, from one 
over of his, Clayton and Finder scored 14 by two 
fours and two threes. 

" The success that has attended the efforts of 
W. G. Grace to raise his native county to a level with 
the best is something remarkable and is quite without 
parallel in cricket history. Three brief seasons have 
sufficed to place Gloucestershire almost on the highest 
rung of the counties' ladder and yet the eleven con- 
sists exclusively of amateurs. A pluckier and better 
managed eleven in the field does not exist, and 
Gloucestershire has our best wishes for a continuance 
of her present prosperity " thus Lilly white. In 
one match W. G. fairly bore the county on his shoul- 
ders. This was in the encounter with Yorkshire at 
Sheffield for the benefit of Roger Iddison, the captain 
of the home team. Grace had the remarkable 
experience of scoring 150 and yet being the first to be 
dismissed in the innings, the total reaching 238 
before the separation, his partner being T. G. Mat- 
thews. W. G. was eventually caught by A. Green- 
wood at mid-on, having only been at the wicket three 
and a half hours, during which there were but two 
mis-hits to be noted. He hit two balls clean out of the 
ground and three successive fours off deliveries by 
George Freeman. He followed this up by one of his 
greatest bowling feats, capturing 15 wickets for 79 
runs, a really remarkable achievement considering 
the strong county team he sent back so cheaply. 
He never took himself off throughout, twelve of his 
opponents being caught off. his head ball, the majority 

DR. W. G. GRACE 85 

at leg or point, and he averaged a wicket for every 
seventeen deliveries. The result was a victory by 
an innings and 112 runs, a decidedly hollow defeat. 
" His batting in this match gave rise to the saying : 
'He dab 'em but seldom, and when he do dab 'em he 
dab 'em for foor.' ' His appearance at the Canter- 
bury Week was spasmodic, for he arrived so late that 
he went in number six on the card for the South and 
was compelled to be absent in the second innings, 
having to leave for Liverpool on his journey to the 
Western world. 

On the invitation of Mr. T. C. Patteson of Toronto, 
supported by Captain Wallace of the 6oth, the 
Secretary of M.C.C., R. A. FitzGerald, in August took 
the following side to Canada and the United States : 
W. G. Grace, C. J . Ottaway, A. N. Hornby, A. Lub- 
bock, C. K. Francis, E. Lubbock, A. Appleby, W. H. 
Hadow, W. M. Rose, F. P. U. Pickering and Lord 
Harris, who had not then succeeded his father. One 
of the little band, still alive, C. K. Francis, furnishes 
the following recollections : 

" Of course by August, 1872, when we started for 
Canada, my acquaintance with W. G. Grace, which 
had begun in 1870, had ripened into a close friend- 
ship. I had played many matches with him and 
my admiration for his superiority over all other 
cricketers had increased rather than diminished. Of 
our Canadian team only four remain out of the dozen 
who started, and I feel sure none of the survivors 
will be able to recall any but the most pleasant recol- 
lections of the whole expedition. We were enter- 
tained everywhere we went with the most liberal 
hospitality and no pains were spared to make our 
trip a success in every way. Dinners, luncheons, 
balls and entertainments of all description were 
provided. On almost every occasion W. G. was 
lured on to his feet to return thanks for his health 
having been drunk, and it must have been extremely 


flattering to him to witness the reception invariably 
recorded. His speeches in returning thanks are 
fully reported in other volumes and need not be 
repeated here. 

I am far from saying we were all completely happy 
whilst crossing the Atlantic. After being entertained 
at Liverpool by old cricket friends, R. Antrobus, 
C. Parr and others, at luncheon, we boarded the 
Sarmatian, which was in those days regarded as 
a large liner, in reality only four thousand tons and 
therefore a mere cockleshell according to our modern 
lights. When fairly in the Atlantic we encountered 
some rough weather and for some thirty-six hours 
we were battened down. It was like being on a 
submarine. I cannot say we were all sailors. Poor 
Ottaway grew whiter and whiter, most of the rest 
greener and greener ; George Harris was prostrate 
and in extremis. Farrands, our umpire, who had 
made up his mind that drowning was to be his end, 
was lamenting that such should take place in mid- 
Atlantic instead of ' in some little pond near hame.' 
Monkey Hornby was piling his luggage against the 
door of his cabin to keep the water out, determined 
to resist the waves as long as possible. Alfred 
Lubbock, the only good sailor, was extremely cheery. 
W. G. was, I think, busy making his will, assisted by 
1 Nobby ' Lubbock who, in those days, was a bit of 
a lawyer. Appleby was trying to keep our spirits 
up by singing lays such as ' A Life on the Ocean 
Wave/ ' Home Sweet Home ' and ' Three Jolly 
Postboys/ all equally inappropriate and out of 
place to those whose feelings were more in favour 
of singing a verse of ' For Those in Peril on the 

So far as I can remember meal times were given 
up to fielding plates and catching glasses, which 
jumped off the fiddles as the ship responded to each 
roll of the Atlantic. After the storm we gradually 
crept on deck, all except George Harris, who was 

UJ 3 

> '1 



DR. W. G. GRACE 87 

never seen out of his bunk until we were fairly in the 
River St. Laurence. Keane FitzGerald (Bob Fitz- 
Gerald' s brother) imagined he was useful by offering u & 
all anti-sea-sickness mixture, a dozen bottles of which 
he had purchased in Liverpool ; indeed he exploited 
the horrible lotion with such success that he nearly 
settled the lot of us before we even reached Canada, 
so ill were those who were weak enough to take any 
of his remedy. 

I must not forget our set rubber of whist : W. G. 
and Edgar Lubbock versus Ottaway and myself. 
We played almost every day, both going and coming 
back. I do not think any of the four were great 
exponents of the game. In fact I do not recollect 
much about our whist beyond the fact that W. G. 
was a rare card-holder and often successfully bottled 
up ace, king and queen of trumps to the end, when he 
put them down triumphantly, asserting ' the rest are 
mine/ as pleased as if he had just completed his 

On arriving at Quebec, we were at once invited 
to dine with the Governor-General, Lord Dufferin, 
at the Citadel. Dinner over, four of our party 
viz. W. G., R. A. FitzGerald, Ottoway and Pickering 
changed and started off at night in an outside Irish 
car (how and why such an uncomfortable machine 
was ever induced to leave its native shore I never 
could make out) on a sporting expedition. R. A. F. 
and W. G. were bent on flogging a river, which the 
Irishman in charge of the vehicle of course gulled 
them into believing was stocked with trout of pro- 
digious size and fabulous numbers. Ottoway and 
Pickering, who had one gun between them, were 
bent on shooting partridges which the Irishman again 
informed them were shouldering one another out of 
the cornfields. They were all nearly jolted out of 
the Hibernian vehicle, and what might have hap- 
pened to the Irish driver after the absolutely futile 
quest for spoil if they had not been absolutely 


dependent on his endeavours to bring them back to 
Quebec, can be left to the imagination. 

This expedition after sport fortunately damped 
their ardour and their energies were subsequently 
chiefly devoted to cricket, which was the main object 
of our presence in Canada and the United States. 
Our matches were at Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, 
London, Hamilton ; then New York, Philadelphia 
and Boston, always against XXII and, if memory 
serves, were usually won in an innings. This was 
thanks to W. G. and Ottaway, who had generally 
mastered the bowling before the rest were called 
upon to officiate and it was desired to finish the 
matches in the two days allotted. The only close 
match of the tour was played against XXII of Phila- 
delphia, where we were very nearly defeated, owing, in 
large measure, to a big fast bowler, Charles Newhall, 
who got rid of a good many of us on a rather difficult 
wicket, being well supported at the other end by one 
Meade, a left-handed bowler, very straight and steady, 
of medium pace. Of course W. G. was the success of 
the tour, and it was largely due to him that our 
victories were so easily accomplished." 

Supplementing these reminiscences, many inter- 
esting points can be derived from that vivacious and 
now scarce volume Wickets In the West ; or The 
Twelve In America, by R. A. FitzGerald. The 
author gives amusing quotations from Canadian 
papers. For example : W. G. Grace " is a large- 
framed, loose- jointed man, and you would say that 
his gait was a trifle awkward and shambling, but 
when he goes into the field you see that he is quick- 
sighted, sure-handed and light-footed as the rest. 
He always goes in first, and to see him tap the ball 
gently to the off for one, draw it to the on for two, 
pound it to the limits for four, drive it beyond the 
most distant long-leg for six, looks as easy as rolling 
off a log." At Toronto he was reported to have 

DR. W. G. GRACE 89 

" hit a shooter to square-leg for two." This occurred 
in a contribution of 142 out of 241 against a smartly- 
fielding XXII. In an exhibition game in which the 
English visitors were divided, he scored 27 in seven 
hits, smiting Alfred Lubbock out of the ground for 
6, followed by a 7 4 overthrow. But the bowler 
had his revenge, getting him out for l.b.w., " much 
to the disgust of Gilbert and the spectators. Gilbert 
growled, but it was of no use, out he went." At 
Hamilton, it was practically night before the game 
was won amid excitement. The last wicket was 
hard to get, but W. G., bowling fast underhand, 
captured it with an uncompromising sneak : skittles 
rather than cricket, but justified by the necessities of 
the case. The lively pen of a reporter was responsible 
for : " Mr. Grace at point is all over the ground. He 
keeps his eye right on you and knows how you are 
going to hit the ball. It would seem as if the ball 
were fascinated by Mr. Grace's basilisk gaze (he has 
a fine, dark eye) for it seems to jump into his 

In the United States, journalism again enjoyed a 
vivacious innings : ' Then comes W. G. Grace a 
monarch in his might of splendid physique he at 
once won attention by the play of limb and easy 
exercise of the muscles." As to his bowling : 
" The fact is, Grace frightened them. They thought 
they saw some unknown and fatal influence in his 
bowling and they simply played right into his hands 
all the time " II wickets for 8 runs bears 
out this opinion. At Philadelphia his attack was 
described as " high and home style which puzzled 
the Quakers." Summing up the tour the captain, 
R. A. FitzGerald, considered : " Victory is of course 
largely due to the never-failing bat of W. G. Grace." 
And in an account in Bell's Life of the tour, it was 
said : " He has arisen as a phenomenon in the game. 
Against all bowling and on all grounds he has left 
his mark." From the scores published, his average 


was 49 for an aggregate of 540, whilst his 44 wickets 
only cost 72 runs. 

It would be unpardonable to quit this cheery tour 
without alluding to the perennial jest of W. G.'s 
speeches. The earliest had been looked forward to- 
with impatience, not to say a tinge of envy, by the 
eleven. It ran as follows : "Gentlemen, I beg to- 
thank you for the honour you have done me. I 
never saw better bowling than I have seen to-day and 
I hope to see as good wherever I go." It was added : 
' The speech took longer to deliver than you might 
imagine from its brevity, but it was greeted with 
applause from all who were in a position to hear it." 
The fun grew however as, on each occasion, he said 
exactly the same, merely substituting " batting " or 
" the ground " for ' bowling." The joke never 
palled on the team and nobody enjoyed it quite as 
much as the orator. 

Here may be appropriately appended the testi- 
mony of Alfred Lubbock, who formed one of the 
team : 

" I played with W. G. Grace about ten years in 
first-class cricket. He was a warm friend of mine and 
we had great fun and thoroughly enjoyed our conver- 
sations. He was a keen sportsman, keen on anything 
that came his way. I was chaffing him, one day, 
about running with the beagles and asking him how 
he could get along as he was so fat (we were in the 
pavilion at Lord's), so he said : ' Well, Alfoed ' (he 
always called me Alfoed), ' I will just show you ; I 
never trot faster than this ' and he proceeded to 
start off at a very slow jog across Lord's, much to the 
amazement of a lot of lookers-on, who could not make 
out what the deuce he was doing. He was always 
ready for any fun, and when I used to chaff him about 
having to take to golf, he would not have it, but 
eventually did and became a good player though 
never a flyer. The last time I saw him was going 

DR. W. G. GRACE 9 r 

to a poultry show at the Crystal Palace, and we went 
down in the train together. He had a rackful of 
toys for his grandchildren and showed them to me, 
especially a little toy bat he had carefully selected 
for his eldest grandson, and it struck me at the time 
as curious seeing the great W. G. with this tiny 
run-getting implement. In olden days I used to- 
argue with him a good deal on the proper weight of 
bats, and my theory was that for an ordinary man 
2 '3 or 2*4 was quite heavy enough, for I believed 
you could hit just as far and that the majority in the 
present day played with bats too heavy. I said,. 
' Of course a big, strong man like you might play with 
a heavier, 2 '5 or 2-6,' and asked him what he played 
with. ' Two nine (2*9) ,' he replied. This shows what 
strength he had. Of course he was never exactly a 
wrist player, but was very strong in all other respects 
and had a very good eye to my mind the greatest 
asset to a batsman." 

To this period is assigned one humorous anecdote. 
In a minor match near Bristol, W. G. had contri- 
buted a long score, followed by the capture of the 
majority of the opposing wickets. One of the tail 
skied a ball to square-leg. Not knowing the capacity 
of the fieldsman in that place, Grace shouted to him 
to leave the ball alone and racing at top speed him- 
self brought off a magnificent catch. The retiring 
batsman observed : ' The next thing that man will 
do will be to wicket-keep to his own bowling." 

At Home and Under the Southern Cross 


A FEATURE of the next few summers was Dr. 
W. G. Grace's association with the United 
South XI. It was on a thoroughly business basis. A 
legal agreement was prepared for each match for which 
he received a comprehensive amount of money out 
of which he had to pay the side he engaged, a heavy 
penalty being embodied in the event of he himself 
not playing in the game. Various representative 
touring elevens were constantly playing local 
^ighteens and twenty-twos not only in counties 
where cricket subsequently nourished on an import- 
ant scale, but in various important centres where a 
first-class match is now never possible. Undoubt- 
edly, with less pressure of county cricket, this proved 
a wide attraction and the repute of W. G. Grace was 
commercially successful in various localities. The 
amount of travelling he and G. F. Grace submitted 
to, under circumstances of comparative discomfort 
.as compared with modern ease in transit, was con- 
siderable, but it never seemed to impair their cricket 
nor to lessen their keenness in the game. It may be 
added that if one of these fixtures ended before 
luncheon on the last day, a supplementary match 
had to be played. Nearly all the colleagues of the 
Graces in these touring fixtures, which extended to 


DR. W. G. GRACE 93 

Scotland and Ireland, were professionals, and it has 
been stated that none of the latter received more than 
5 a match. The whole of these organizations 
gradually expired amid the modern developments 
inaugurated by the Australians, who themselves 
played the majority of the engagements of their 
first two tours against odds. They might have been 
prolonged through the personal " drawing power " of 
W. G., but after he began his medical career at Bristol 
in 1878, he was unable to go thus widely afield. 

Out of a wealth of reminiscences kindly forwarded 
for the purposes of this volume from those who saw 
W. G. in such matches, space can be regretfully 
found for merely two. The most interesting, per- 
haps, is the anecdote of Andrew McAllister, a clever 
Scotch bowler, who was announcing how he was 
going to get Grace out : "I will just be placing the 
field as wide as possible and we will get him caught." 
That night the wily old fellow was in high glee for 
W. G. had been captured in the deep for a small score. 
On the next evening, however, the veteran was 
gloomy : " Well, you see," he explained, " the field 
was not big enough. W. G. hit seven sixes." 

" Many years ago " [apparently May 24, 1877], 
writes a correspondent, " W. G. was captain of an 
England XI v. XVIII Edinburgh Gentlemen. At 
the preliminary practice on the second day, W. G. 
said to Leslie Melville-Balfour : ' I say, let me 
show you the ball with which I got you yesterday, 
I can always beat my brother Freddie with it.' 
Balfour, a sound bat, took guard in front of a single 
stump and saw it knocked out of the ground by the 
very first ball Grace bowled. The impressions I 
carried away that day were of the wonderful boyish- 
ness of the champion, of the great affection which 
existed between him and his brother G. F., and the 
remarkable vim of his cuts, which some of us tried to- 
stop. I was a member of my college eleven at the 
time, but I must frankly confess that many of these 


strokes were too hot for me to pick up." In a prac- 
tice match on this ground in 1873, he made a hit of 140 
yards. As the Dominie observed : " prodigious." 

To Grace 1873 proved only second to 1871 as 
a summer of phenomenal performances. For the 
second time his average exceeded 70 and his aggre- 
gate 2,000. Seven centuries were placed to his 
credit, three consecutively. Only in one match 
were amateur bowlers responsible for his dismissal 
and he never failed to score, though sent back 
eight times for single figures. Once run out, once hit 
wicket and six times bowled, all the other dismissals 
were by catches. Moreover, this was the first season 
in which he claimed a hundred wickets. 

Apart from some minor appearances, W. G. Grace 
played his earliest important innings after his return 
from the United States at Prince's for South v. North, 
his 68 being the highest score in a match drawn 
through unpunctuality. On the same ground, for 
Gentlemen of the South v. Players of the North, his 
grand score of 145 was the more remarkable in its 
flawless correctness because the next highest innings 
was E. M.'s 26. W. G. went in first and was last out, 
having made his runs out of a total of 237, with 
eleven fours. For the same side against the Players 
of the South at the Oval, his 134 was greater than the 
first aggregate, 126, of his opponents. He only ran 
185 runs whilst at the wicket, so that his proportion 
of runs scored whilst he was in was even greater 
than usual, and he was credited with 73 out of the first 
100 recorded. 

This was the first of a triumvirate of centuries, 
the other two being for Gentlemen v. Players, both of 
which matches, as well as the third at Prince's, were 
won by the amateurs with an innings to spare. At 
Lord's, on a wicket dead after rain, in his magnifi- 
cent 163, which included a seven, he was especially 
severe on J . C. Shaw. He was caught off a no-ball 
by Carpenter from this bowler when he had made 

DR. W. G. GRACE 95 

61. ' There's no getting the long 'un out," said 
some one in the crowd at this point. ' You don't 
want to, do yer? " was his friend's retort. At the 
Oval, in his 158, he " made all the bowling plain and 
all the bowlers desperate," more especially as he 
played the third ball he received from Tom Emmett 
hard on his wicket without removing the bail. He 
signalized this by promptly hitting him for six and 
five, making 25 off his next three overs. In the 
second innings of the Players he also enjoyed a 
destructive spell with the ball, claiming 7 wickets for 
9 runs apiece, catching Jupp and Lockwood off his 
own bowling in the same over and getting four others 
annexed by his leg trap. Ephraim Lockwood indeed 
in each innings he caught out for the unenviable 
duck. In the extra encounter at Prince's, he and 
W. Yardley had the liveliest opening, putting up 
141 for the first wicket, of which his own share was 
70. He also took five wickets at the beginning of the 
Players' effort. Therefore for the Gentlemen that 
summer of 1873 he scored 291 in three innings and 
took 12 wickets for 10 runs apiece that is against 
the picked professional talent of a day when fine 
bowling and sound batting were rife. 

A wholly delightful amateur game at headquarters 
was that between the eleven which had been in 
Canada and Fifteen Gentlemen of M.C.C. with 
Rylott, who was never put on to bowl. The home 
side looked decidedly weak on paper, but put up so 
keen a fight as only to be beaten by 24 runs. W. G. 
Grace and C. J. Ottaway fulfilled their Canadian 
tradition by giving their side a splendid start, 
namely 119 for the first wicket. W. G.'s own share 
was 152, and special interest was felt in the way in 
which he punished the fast deliveries of his brother 
G. F. In the same week he played his highest inn- 
ings of the year for South v. North at the Oval, the 
attack being the powerful one of A. and J . C. Shaw, 
Martiri Mclntyre and Tom Emmett. Helped by 


two lives at the hands of the wicket-keeper the 
burly Finder he carried his bat for 192 out of a 
total of 311, with seven fives in a contribution that 
occupied precisely five hours. Further, to finish off 
the game, he captured the last four wickets for only 
20 runs. 

Yet another North v. South opened the Canterbury 
Festival and the best exhibition of the year was given 
in the first-wicket partnership of W. G. and Jupp. 
The former was the earlier to leave, at 154, being 
bowled by Emmett when within two of his century. 
This small ground was always congenial to him and 
he made his runs all round the wicket at a great 
pace. For the Club against Kent he had a spell 
with the ball, for after taking five wickets in the first 
innings, he claimed 10 in the second for 9 runs 
apiece and then hit hard for 57 not out (the highest 
score on either side) towards the 107 required. At 
the very end of September, for Bennett's benefit, he 
brought a strong scratch side to oppose a Kent team 
of ten amateurs with Willsher, on the Bat and Ball 
ground at Gravesend. He bowled extremely well, 
claiming 5 wickets for 33, and then knocked the 
attack all over the field in a punishing 69 not out, 
which closed his account for the year. 

Moreover, the spirited efforts of the Grace family 
for Gloucestershire were fully realized because that 
county became champion, winning four, drawing 
two and not losing a single match. Naturally W. G. 
was foremost on the amateur side, his batting average 
being 62, and he also captured 21 wickets. His 
" gluttony for runs " at the Oval saw him with 83 
to his credit against Surrey, he and E. M. making 
156 before W. G. was the first to retire. In the 
return match at Clifton, he again gave Surrey plenty 
of exercise, for in the second innings he had an 
unfinished partnership of 255 with E. M. Knapp, his 
own share being an aggressive 160, with four sixes. 
A disconsolate Surrey fielder, stationed near the 

DR. W. G. GRACE 97 

press tent, cheered up when he learnt he had made 
his 150, for he said : "We shall get him soon, for his 
average against us cannot be more than 180." He 
also took 4 wickets for 19 runs. In the first innings 
both E. M. and W. G. were out hit-wicket to South- 
erton, W. G. actually knocking a stump out of the 
ground, a singularly rare occurrence. 

Against Yorkshire, for Rowbotham's benefit, from 
12,000 people he obtained a reception which he was 
apt to recall as one of the greatest demonstrations 
accorded to him, and he also would say that he seldom 
opened his shoulders with more relish than in this 
79. One minor achievement should not be for- 
gotten : for the United South v. XXII of Coventry 
with Luke Greenwood, he took twenty-five wickets 
and made five catches off other bowling, thus having 
a hand in thirty wickets in one match. 

Luke Greenwood, just mentioned, liked to tell a 
story of W. G. on a Yorkshire ground. " In one 
match, W. G. thwacked me out of the field for six 
on the square-leg side. There used to be a practice 
in those days of giving a shilling to those who re- 
turned the lost ball. An old lady found this one and 
toddled up to the wicket, as was the custom. She 
brought it to me and I said : ' Nah, yon's him that 
hit it; yo mun go to him for t' brass.' She crossed 
to W. G. and gave him the ball and he, much 
amused, paid the shilling forfeit." 

Once more C. K. Francis kindly furnishes remini- 
scences, and if somewhat ahead, in one portion, of the 
period under review, yet it would spoil his contribu- 
tion if it were cut into sections. He writes : 

" After our Canadian trip, I played a good many 
matches with W. G., more than one Gentlemen v. 
Players of the South, an interesting match after- 
wards discontinued owing to the increase of county 
fixtures [it has been revived at the Hastings 
Festival only a few years ago], and in 1873 I played 


with him no less than three Gentlemen v. Players 
matches, one at Lord's, one at the Oval, one at 
Prince's. No doubt he was then at the top of his 
form that is from 1870 to 1876. He was then 
aged from twenty-two to twenty-eight and had not 
to carry the weight, which in his latter years ham- 
pered him a good deal and prevented him being seen 
to most advantage, although he made many hundreds 
when he was well over seventeen stone and would 
have compiled many more if he could have had some 
one to run for him. The three Gentlemen v. Players 
I have just mentioned constituted a record, for all 
three were won by the amateurs by an innings. 
Monkey Hornby and I are the only survivors of all 
three. Small wonder, with W. G. so transcendent in 
these successes, that just at that time, one of his 
ecclesiastical admirers described him as ' Lord of 
Lord's and Ruler of Prince's,' although with justice 
one might equally have said of him, ' Why, man, he 
doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus,' so 
vastly at that time was he head and shoulders over 
any other cricketer before or since. 

I see I was again play ing at Lord's for the Gentle- 
men in 1875, in which match W. G. made 152 in the 
second innings, when he was run out, which was 
very seldom the case. In that match, he and A. J. 
Webbe put on 203 without the fall of a wicket. 
Another curious incident was that I. D. Walker, who 
for some years was second only to W. G., annexed 
' spectacles ' and lost a fiver to boot, having bet Lord 
Harris ten to one (5 to IDS.) that he would not do so. 
Poor ' Donny ' Walker was not successful in his bets. 
I can remember being present when he lay Jack Dale 
100 to i that Cambridge would not win the Univer- 
sity match of 1872 by a single innings and the Light 
Blues did so. I must say I never saw a better innings 
for o ; he was in quite thirty-five minutes and played 
most correct cricket. Perfectly well I recollect 
sitting in the pavilion, watching every ball, knowing 



how much depended on it and realizing what fun we 
would have with him if George Harris won his bet. 
I sat next Buns Thornton, who was also playing, and 
remember his characteristic remark to me as Donny 
was walking back to the pavilion, obviously any- 
thing but pleased : ' I should not like to have my 
finger in his mouth at this moment.' Of course I 
knew the feeling well, but to I. D. to have to return 
with a brace was a novel sensation which W. G. never 
experienced in a first-class match. I think it should 
be recorded that in that match W. G. took no less 
than twelve wickets, four of them being caught and 
bowled, besides scoring 159. 

It was soon after the years I am speaking of, it 
will be remembered by cricketers, that at one 
moment it was suggested, to meet the difficulty of 
high scoring [W. G. Grace to the fore], to either reduce 
the size of the bat or increase the height of the 
wickets. I can remember a cricket bat, which A. G. 
Steel had made, about an inch narrower than the 
orthodox size. To me it seemed a revolution which 
would have altered the game, like asking a sportsman 
to shoot with a toy gun or a billiard player to use a 
cue a foot too short or too long. W. G. was, I 
think, in favour of leaving well alone. 

Reverting to my recollections of him. At first, 
say in 1870, he was a medium-pace bowler, breaking 
a bit from leg, with an occasional slow one, but used 
less frequently than in later years, when he was 
altogether a slow bowler. The slow ball, in those 
earlier seasons, was very often a half volley to leg and 
so intended, in the hope of producing a catch at long- 
leg, which was very often brought off, but as often 
proved an expensive operation before success. I 
have been reminded by F. E. Lacey, the present 
Secretary of M.C.C., that in one innings he caught 
three off W. G. at long-leg, though he did not tell me 
at what cost. But he did tell me that, on one 
occasion, W. G, shifted him nearly fifty yards to the 


exact spot for the long-leg catch hit straight into his 

In thirty- two years for Gentlemen v. Players he 
obtained over 250 wickets [271 with an average of 
19 apiece], which would have justified his being 
played in those matches for his bowling alone. His 
delivery was certainly baulking. Bustling up to 
the wicket rapidly, his huge shoulders and elbows 
squared, both hands in front of his flowing beard and 
the ball thus concealed a good deal from view, which 
made it difficult for the batsman to detect where it 
was coming from, his M.C.C. cap tending rather to 
dazzle the batsman's view than otherwise, bowling 
generally round the wicket, he followed up his 
bowling quickly towards the off-side, usually having 
a field pretty straight on the on side behind him. 
B> this manoeuvre, he unquestionably caught and 
bowled a good many opponents, and his great know- 
ledge of the play of almost every batsman he met 
enabled him very constantly to capture his wicket. 
He certainly was a very successful bowler against the 
professionals, who are always inclined to play with 
more caution than the amateurs, and they were, no 
doubt, impressed with the notion that it was W. G. 
Grace who was bowling his great personality ac- 
counting for a good many wickets, which would not 
have been the case if the same ball had been bowled 
by any one else. 

When he was active, there was no place in the field 
where he was out of place. In 1870 he could catch a 
man almost off the end of his bat in a way which 
would have rivalled E. M., who, I suppose, was con- 
sidered in his day the best point in England. If 
W. G. did not get runs or wickets in a match, he 
generally left his mark in the field. I remember 
being at Londesborough Lodge once when W. G. 
arrived late in the evening. He had been playing 
that day at Manchester in the final test match against 
the Australians in 1888. By the papers we knew 

DR. W. G. GRACE 101 

England had won, but we did not know how England 
had managed to get the other side out in the time. 
We had finished dinner when Grace put in an appear- 
ance, having come for the Scarborough Festival, and 
I remember saying : ' Well, W. G., how did you get 
them out ? ' Equally well I remember his answer : 
'Why, Tom, I cot 'em out,' and so it was, for he had 
brought off three very good catches, which disposed 
of three formidable batsmen at critical times." 

A suggestion from Fun in 1873 may be added : 

' The Society for the Improvement of Things in 

General and the Diffusion of Perfect Equality, at a 

meeting to be held shortly, will submit the following 

propositions : 

That W. G. Grace shall owe a couple of hundred or so before 
batting these to be reckoned against his side should he 
not wipe them off. 

That his shoe spikes shall be turned inwards. 
That he shall be declared out whenever the umpire likes. 
That he shall always be the eleventh player. 
That he shall not be allowed to play at all." 

Reverting to the chronological narrative after 
the close of the season of 1873, W. G. Grace took a 
team to Australia. It was his own honeymoon tour, 
for only a few days before he sailed, namely on 
October 9, he married Miss Agnes Nicholls Day, 
daughter of his own first cousin. The eleven he 
finally selected, after many disappointments, was 
composed of his brother G. F. Grace, his cousin 
W. R. Gilbert, J. A. Bush, an excellent wicket-keeper, 
F. H. Boult, a fast bowler who was unwell through- 
out the trip, with Jupp, Oscroft, R. Humphrey, A. 
Greenwood, Martin Mclntyre, Southerton and James 
Lillywhite. The voyage out was devoid of incident 
except that the cooking was pronounced very bad. 
On touching at King George's Sound, W. G. Grace 


threw a boomerang, which might have killed a fellow- 
passenger, for it only just missed his head. 

Dave Scott (" The Almanac ") writes from the 
Antipodes : 

" It was on the day in December, 1873, that W. G. 
Grace and his team arrived in Melbourne, I first met 
him. People turned out in thousands to welcome 
him and the cream of the English bowlers and eagerly 
scanned the daily practice which soon became the 
regular rule. 

W. G.'s first public appearance was as spectator 
of a keenly contested match between Melbourne 
C.C. and South Melbourne for a trophy. I drove a 
drag and four with Grace on the box. When feeling 
ran high over the game about a vexed point, Grace 
was appealed to. His answer was non-committal : 
' Though we have come from the home of cricket 
thirteen thousand miles away, our opinion cannot 
carry the weight of the umpires.' The game was 
abandoned owing to the dispute and this created a 
bad impression on the visiting team. 

On Christmas Day after a heavy lunch, the English 
amateurs went to have a knock. Harry Boyle, who 
was to be one of the Victorian XVIII on the morrow 
to oppose them, and had come a hundred miles from 
Bendigo for the match, was looking on with me, who 
was his host. Some one said, ' Have a bowl at 
Grace.' ' No thanks,' replied Boyle, ' I expect I'll 
have enough bowling in the match before we get rid 
of him.' After watching W. G. for some time, the 
renowned bowler observed to me : ' Dave, he has a 
weak stroke and if I could only get a ball in between 
his leg and the wicket I could get him.' 

It was not until the second day, just before lunch, 
that W. G. came out to bat, for previously G. P. 
Robertson had won the toss and Victoria had 
amassed 266, B. B. Cooper playing a magnificent 
innings of 84. Grace took Jupp in with him and 

DR. W. G. GRACE 103 

received a tremendous ovation. Just when 40 was 
hoisted, he fooled the crowd, who thought he had 
been stumped, by walking back as if to the pavilion 
and then returning, which caused heaps of laughter 
among the sixteen thousand spectators. H. F. 
Boyle was the first change bowler, and after the 
champion had made a few off him, a tremendous 
shout went up; he had bowled him with a ball 
between his legs and the wicket. The crowd rose 
and cheered, waved handkerchiefs and sticks, whilst 
about 1,500 Bendigo men, who had come because 
Boyle was their champion, went fairly mad and 
cooed with true Australian fervour. Allan, ' the 
bowler of the century,' literally hugged Boyle on the 
pitch. There had been a foolish and false rumour 
that Grace had laid 500 to 50 that he would never 
be bowled in Australia. 

After the return match, W. G. made 126 not out in 
an exhibition game with eleven men only in the field. 
It was a revelation to the Colonial spectators to see 
the manner in which he placed the ball apparently 
where he liked. Sam Cosstick at one time delivered 
full pitches fair at the batsman's head, but W. G. 
would not have them, so Sam said the balls slipped 
from his hand. 

At the farewell dinner to the English side at the 
Criterion Hotel, Collins Street, Grace said to Boyle : 
* If you ever come to England and your bowlers are 
as good there as they are here, you will make a name 
for yourselves.' After the sensational defeat at 
Lord's in the one-day match of M.C.C. and Ground by 
Australia by 9 wickets in 1878, W. G. shook hands 
with Spofforth and Boyle, remarking to the latter : 
' I wished you every success before I left Australia, 
but you have done us badly to-day.' ; 

That greatest of all bowlers as well as a singularly 
sound judge of the game, F. R. Spofforth, whose 


further reminiscences will be found in a later chapter, 
writes : 

" On the occasion of W. G. Grace's first visit to 
Australia, I only played in one match against him, 
and, when I met him in England six years later, he 
said : ' I only remember this Demon Bowler as a 
long, thin fellow standing in the deep field and throw- 
ing in so terribly hard.' In those days I practised 
long shying and could generally bung in the ball a 
hundred and twenty- eight yards. 

I had a lark with the Old Man at the nets. In 
those days, though I stood six feet three inches, I 
only weighed ten stone six. But I could bowl faster 
than any man in the world. W. G. was at the nets 
at Melbourne and I lolled up two or three balls in a 
funny slow way. Two or three of those round 
asked : ' What's the matter with you, Spoff ? ' I 
replied : ' I am going to have a rise out of that 
W. G.' Suddenly I sent him down one of my very 
fastest. He lifted his bat half up in his characteristic 
way, but down went his off stump, and he called 
out in his quick fashion when not liking anything : 
' Where did that come from ? Who bowled that ? ' 
But I slipped away, having done my job." 

The narrative of the tour in Lilly white for 1875 
is understood to have been written by the late G. F. 
Grace and furnishes a valuable source of information. 
Even in its jerky precis form, it betrays sources of 
friction ; for example, in the very first match : 
" wickets cut up rather badly ; and, after the Sunday 
intervening, the captain of the XVIII refused to 
allow us to roll the ground. Query Could he stop 
us ? " Indeed it is understood that there were 
varied subjects of dispute, possibly due in great 
measure to the fact that the speculators who con- 
ducted the tour knew nothing of cricket. ' The 
trip, on the whole, was an enjoyable one, as far as 

DR. W. G. GRACE 105 

seeing the Colonies and meeting good friends ; but 
in a cricketing point of view it was NOT a good one. 
We were met in a bad spirit, as if contending cricketers- 
were enemies." How different from the modern 
Australian splendid sporting spirit when P. F. 
Warner and his teams twice brought back the ashes. 
W. G. Grace, as captain, naturally bore the brunt 
of the friction. He also bore off the honours of the 
tour, his fine average of 39 being wonderfully good 
on bad wickets and against odds. In the first match 
against XVIII of Victoria, in the only innings of the 
opponents he took 10 wickets for less than 6 runs 
apiece and contributed 33 and 51 not out, by far 
the best, for the Englishmen were playing too soon 
after their long sea voyage. One local paper pro- 
nounced them " arrant duffers," another believed 
they had sold the match. As a matter of interest it 
may be mentioned that on the home side figured 
W. G.'s old cricket comrade at home, B. B. Cooper, 
who made 84, Midwinter, destined to help him so 
materially for Gloucestershire, H. F. Boyle, as 
already stated, and T. Horan, the best critic that the 
Australians have ever produced on the game and a 
fine bat, as he proved on his second visit to England 
in 1882, when he invariably went to the wicket 
with brown pads. 

At Ballarat on New Year's Day, 1874, against the 
attack of Allan and Cosstick, W. G. gave " one of his 
grand innings, hitting tremendously hard, and was 
caught off a good hit for 126." Owing to the heat 
many spectators climbed trees and Grace hit one 
sitting on a bough, but he was not much hurt. When 
the England team played XVIII of New South 
Wales, the Governor Sir Hercules Robinson and his 
wife were among the twelve thousand spectators. 
Years afterwards, Lady Rosmead as she subse- 
quently became who was noted for her emphatic 
speeches, recalled W. G. as " the human Orang 
Outang whose beard did not seem to get in the way 


of his playing cricket." He captured n wickets for 
69 runs in 'the first innings. On the home side were 
F. R. Spofforth, who only went on as third change 
and took Greenwood's wicket, Charles Bannerman, 
and D. Gregory. Against a combined XV of New 
South Wales and Victoria, W. G. played a fine 73 
" in awful heat." The finish of this, the most 
important match of the tour, was excellent. On the 
last day, the English went into the field at five past 
three and had the last of the XV out at a quarter to 
six, owing to fine fielding and yet finer bowling by 
Lilly white. At Kadina W. G. " had the ground 
swept and picked up two large baskets of small 
stones. A tape a yard in length was used to measure 
the wicket and there was no ball when play should 
have started." At Melbourne W. G. was credited 
with a good score of 64, when only two others in the 
match exceeded 30. 

The persistency with which he and W. R. Gilbert 
went out shooting on all possible occasions was a 
point afterwards recalled, " the kangaroo is a sociable 
animal and the two Gilberts expressed themselves 
satisfied," whilst W. G. himself declared that on this 
tour his speeches were more varied than at other 
times; possibly because the spirit moved him to 
make very necessary complaints. Australian cricket 
was in its infancy and it grew to be one of the proud 
features of the Empire in sport and a joy to us at 
home on all the tours. But it should not be for- 
gotten that this tour in 1873 undoubtedly sowed 
seeds which the Australians were clever enough to 
cultivate until they produced the wealth of subse- 
quent first-class cricket at the Antipodes. W. G. 
Grace once humorously called himself one of the 
god-fathers of Australian cricket. 

The End of the Old Regime 


IT has always been regarded that the visit of the 
Australians to England in 1878 marked the com- 
mencement of modern cricket, and therefore the 
seasons between 1874 and 1877 may be considered 
as the closing ones of the first part of the cricketing 
life of W. G. Grace. Directly after his return from 
the Antipodes, he hit up 259 in less than three hours 
for Thornbury v. Clifton and even now one can 
imagine how he must have enjoyed this rollicking 
spell of slogging. In important cricket his all-round 
superiority was as predominant as ever. Taking 
140 wickets for only 12 runs apiece, he was more de- 
structive than any amateur since first-class mat ches 
were instituted, and his batting average was 52 for 
an aggregate of 1,664. It was a season in which a 
marked decline of public interest was to be noted and 
some apathy also among the best exponents of the 
game. But the keenness of W. G. was never called 
in question. As for his success, though his first ten 
visits to the wicket only realized 201, he was only 
once again dismissed for a single figure he never 
failed to score in 1874 and gave some phenomenal 
exhibitions, quite apart from increased deadliness 
with the ball, whilst he averaged 31 for twenty- 
four innings for the United South against odds, 
besides taking 121 wickets for only 6 runs each. 



It was at Brighton on June n for Gloucestershire 
v. Sussex, that W. G. Grace gave his first important 
display of the summer. He fairly let himself go at 
the bowling in a brilliantly characteristic 179 out of 
299, with one six, four fives and nineteen fours as- 
examples of his gentle tapping, and then proved 
uncommonly efficacious with the ball, as indicated 
by his figures, 12 wickets for 158 runs. This was a 
foretaste of what he was worth to his county, for 
which he averaged 84, whilst his 58 wickets only cost 
ii runs apiece. The greatest day in the latter 
department was at Cheltenham against Surrey, when 
he took 7 wickets for 18 runs the chief factor in 
dismissing the opponents for 27 and 7 wickets for 
48. On this occasion with 27 he was also top-scorer 
in a bowlers' game. As usual a benefit match incited 
him to a remarkable exhibition. This time, on Luke 
Greenwood's behalf at Sheffield, he delighted over ten 
thousand spectators with 167 played in four hours 
during which 303 were scored, after which he cap- 
tured ii wickets for 101 runs, his prowess somewhat 
abruptly terminating the struggle. In the return 
encounter at Clifton, he and E. M. put up 137 for the 
first wicket and he remained until 216 was scored, 
when he was caught for 127. Ten Yorkshire wickets 
for 121 were included in his bag for this match, so 
the Tykes had a pretty lively impression of his 

In Gentlemen v. Players, Grace did something less 
than usual until the third match at Prince's when, 
with comparatively weak sides, he contributed no 
out of 209 and was credited with 7 wickets for 58 
runs. This game was marred by many bad deci- 
sions. A curious appeal was one against W. G. for 
obstruction in preventing Lillywhite from securing 
a ball played back by G. F., but the umpire did not 
allow the claim. Never was he in greater vein than 
in the Canterbury Festival. In place of the mono- 
tonous North v. South was substituted Kent and 

DR. W. G. GRACE 109 

Gloucestershire v. England, and a capital game 
resulted in the defeat of the national side by 54 runs. 
W. G. narrowly escaped a double hundred, as he 
scored 94 and 121, besides taking 10 wickets for 16 
runs apiece. Altogether he was batting whilst 400 
runs were scored without his giving a single chance, 
and, curiously enough, all ten batsmen in the second 
innings were caught. Directly this match was con- 
cluded that between M.C.C. and Kent was begun. 
Grace this time appropriated eleven wickets, includ- 
ing a hat trick, and 123 runs hit up in only two and 
a quarter hours. With I. D. Walker he put up 149 
for the first wicket, of which his share was 102. 
Another notable effort was his 104 for Gentlemen of 
South v. Players of the North, making his runs out of 
160 while in, taking barely two hours to do so, and 
at one period hitting 50 in fifteen consecutive hits. 
Before thus roughly handling the attack he had taken 
7 Northern wickets for only 60 runs in spite of 
Oscroft hitting with grim determination. 

W. G. Grace achieved one of his records in 
this summer, as he made six centuries in seven 
matches, the actual figures being 104 and 19, 23 and 
no, 167,1, 94 and 121, 123, and 127. The bowlers 
he thus punished included Alfred Shaw, Morley and 
Ulyett (in three of the six matches), Rylott, Lilly- 
white and Clayton (in two), Emmett, Willsher, Sil- 
cock and Allen Hill, a list which adds to the merit of 
his achievement. Here may well come the first 
portion of the recollections of Mr. C. I. Thornton, 
biggest of hitters, foremost to come to the assistance 
of the present book in the kindest manner, who 
writes : 

" I am afraid my reminiscences of the grand old 
cricketer will prove a little desultory. We were 
always capital friends, he and I, and many a long 
talk we had together. Therefore it is appropriate 
I should be a trifle conversational and probably will 


be forgiven if I become occasionally anecdotal. To 
praise him as a cricketer would be to add light to the 
sun. I played with him very often and on many 
grounds and I have watched many more of his 
greatest efforts, always with profound admiration. 
The state of the wicket never seemed to trouble him 
as it does almost all modern cricketers, probably 
because he made his finest early centuries on pitches 
such as no one now in championship matches has 
even imagined and also, because, like so many of the 
older school, W. G. seemed so thoroughly to enjoy 
every game in which he took part. Only once do I 
recall even the suggestion of a grumble. It was in 
those days when Gloucestershire, reduced from its 
former glory, seemed unable to win more than a 
stray match each season, Grace observed : ' It 
ain't all jam when you're always on the losing side,' 
at that time every member of the county team being 
young enough to have been his son. 

W. G. practically always went in first. I can, 
however, recollect two commencements of Canter- 
bury Week when he did not ; on one of them I 
remember beginning the innings for South v. North 
with G. F. Grace. To show how freely W. G. scored, 
in the early seventies it was particularly commented 
on that, for Kent v. M.C.C., Willsher sent down 
twenty-four consecutive balls to him without being 

I have a newspaper cutting, apparently from The 
Times, which runs : ' So deep is the apprehension 
entertained by every cricketer who is liable to find 
himself, in one or another match, ranged on the side 
to which Mr. Grace does not belong, that grave 
propositions have been made in the higher councils 
of the craft, having for their purpose the memorializ- 
ing of that gentleman, in terms of earnest supplica- 
tion, entreating that he will consent to play for the 
future either blindfolded or with his right arm tied 
behind his back. Only by such a reduction of his 

DR. W. G. GRACE in 

extraordinary physical resources can the memorial- 
ists hope to dub him down to the level of ordinarily 
good cricketers. He is Anax Andron of a verity : 
but Agamemnon was not the only son of Atreus. 
The Graces outnumber the Atrides too, and one can 
fancy Alfred Shaw or Farrands, judging by the 
performances of two or three of them when they are 
' out ' together, ejaculating : ' Methinks there be ten 
Graces in the field.' Of course Mr. W. G. Grace is 
ladle princeps. 

Such a testimony to his skill was never written 
about any other cricketer nor do I believe it ever 
will be. 

A short but most lively partnership between W. G. 
and myself for M.C.C. and Ground v. Yorkshire at 
Lord's remains in my mind. I cnme in seventh, 
cutting the first ball I received, from Ephraim Lock- 
wood, to the centre of the grand-stand, following it 
by a single and a couple off Allen Hill. W. G. 
responded with a leg hit for two and an on-drive 
for three off the same bowler, and on facing 
' Emma ' hit him splendidly round to leg, the ball 
reaching the bat stack for five, whilst I drove the 
same trundler for two and smote Allen Hill for a four 
and a single. This brought on Tom Emmet t, off 
whom I was missed first ball and then skied one to 
mid-on. W. G., out at last to a lob from Iddison, 
made a glorious 101." 

For the first time in 1875 the Jeremiahs began 
their perennial if intermittent croak that Grace had 
given the public of his best. An average of 32 with 
an aggregate of just under 1,500 would have been 
good enough for any ordinary first-class batsman ; 
but of course W. G. had set a standard for himself. 
To balance the reduction in run-getting however, he 
enjoyed his best summer as a bowler, obtaining 190 
wickets for well under 13 runs each. This was the 
third season in which he scored over 1,000 runs and 


took over 100 wickets, a double feat he performed 
eight times. He was the only cricketer to do this 
until 1882 when C. T. Studd also accomplished it. 
Of course it has been achieved prolincally in the 
multiplicity of modern matches, George Hirst, who 
is credited with it in fourteen seasons, holding the 
record up to the war. 

The late P. M. Thornton contemporaneously dealt 
aptly with the question of Grace's supposed decline : 
" Constant rain made the ground false, and before 
it could get hard or anything near it, Jupiter Pluvius 
elected to follow his innings and the early fixtures 
came off on a slough of despond. It is constantly 
our lot to hear people express their opinion that 
W. G. Grace had gone off. Now even supposing the 
great player had not totalled two thousand runs 
before cricket closed, it would surely be patent to 
any one worthy of forming an opinion on such sub- 
jects that scoring must relatively be less heavy when 
ground is slow and untrue." 

W. G. Grace showed his customary appreciation of 
Yorkshire bowling. At Lord's for M.C.C. and Ground 
his second scoreof 71 was characterized as "very fine," 
whilst eight wickets fell to his share. At Sheffield, a 
favourite ground of his for Gloucestershire, before 
fifteen thousand spectators at the benefit of John 
Thewlis, he batted nobly for in and 43, getting 
practically no support, but hitting a five and ten 
fours. On this occasion, as he was so keen to do 
always, he included on his side a couple of schoolboys, 
both good bats, R. E. Bush and A. H. Heath. At 
Bristol on an awful wicket he made 37, top score, 
and his bowling won the match, for he took 13 wickets 
for only 98 runs. So he certainly set his mark yet 
again on the Tykes that summer. 

His finest display, as was characteristic, was in 
the most important match, Gentlemen v. Players 
at Lord's. His bowling alone would have been 
noteworthy against such batsmen, 7 for 64 and 5 for 

The finish of his back-stroke 

From an action -photograph by G. W. Beldam.) 

DR. W. G. GRACE 113 

61, no less than four Lockwood, L. Greenwood, 
Oscroft and Pooley being c. and b. But this 
paled before his run-getting. Taking in A. J. Webbe 
the pair put on 203 before the old Harrovian was 
caught at the wicket for 65, then the longest first- 
wicket partnership ever recorded in the historic match 
and still the second largest in the whole series. 
W. G. was eventually run out after making 152 out of 
242 whilst in. " For timing and placing this was 
equal to anything he had ever done. Certainly the 
exhibition of the year," and one still quoted by old 
stagers as a delightful treat to watch. At the Oval 
9 wickets for 114 was his notable share in a dull 
game. The encounter at Prince's was a mere farce 
and is the only known occasion in first-class cricket 
away from the Crystal Palace on which W. G. 
insisted on selecting the pitch. It suited him, for he 
captured 7 opponents for only 23 runs when they had 
won the toss, though little fault could be found with 
the quality of the professional eleven. 

The Whit-Monday match was played out in six 
hours. Southerton took nine Northern wickets in 
the first innings and seven in the second. At ten 
minutes to seven W. G. Grace and Jupp went in to 
get 41 runs in a dreadful light. " It will take you all 
night," prophesied R. A. FitzGerald, as the champion 
buckled on his pads. The pair accomplished their 
task in eleven overs off Alfred Shaw and Morley, 
W. G.'s share being 28. That is the kind of cricket 
worth recollecting. An occasion when he triumphed 
over " dreadful weather on all three days " was for 
South v. North at Huddersfield, when his contribu- 
tions were 92 and 73, in which latter he hit Allen 
Hill clean out of the ground for six. Again, he had a 
square-leg hit out of the Clifton College ground in 
" a singularly perfect " 119 against Notts. This 
effort terminated in his being bowled by Alfred 
Shaw, who took his wicket ir this way twenty times 
in his career, more frequently therefore than any 


other bowler. W. G. himself always recalled his 35 
for M.C.C. v. Notts at Lord's as one of the innings that 
gave him most trouble to compile, for this was the 
occasion when Alfred Shaw bowled so marvellously. 
He sent down 166 balls for five singles and a two 
(" a fluke "), taking 7 wickets, six clean bowled, his 
victims including W. G. Grace who took an hour 
to make his first ten runs I. D. Walker, A. W. 
Ridley, C. F. Buller and Lord Harris. No biography 
of Grace could be complete without allusion to this 
feat of "by far the finest bowler I ever met " as 
W. G. said and for which he was the recipient of a 
valuable silver teapot. Grace concluded his first- 
class season with a notable performance at Lough- 
borough on a bad wicket when the ground was heavy. 
Against the North he had a hand in getting all the 
wickets in the first innings, catching one and claiming 
the other nine for only 48 runs ; as five more fell to 
his share at the second effort and with 20 he was the 
only double-figure scorer in a total of 38 W. My croft 
and Randon bowling he must have created a big 
local sensation. 

For the United South that summer, Grace had a 
better season against odds than in first-class matches, 
being credited with an average of 42 and an aggre- 
gate of 1,176, whilst his 186 wickets cost but 7 runs 
apiece. " His enormous score of 210 against XVIII 
of Hastings and District is remarkable as the largest 
ever recorded in this class of match," up to that time. 
He obtained his runs in five and a half hours despite 
the number in the field and though he was suffering 
from a sprained foot. His great hit for six off 
Draper was measured and from the crease to where 
the ball pitched was found to be 118 yards. Against 
XVIII of North Kent he obtained 152, but sustained 
a pretty hot piece of punishment, for in one over J . 
Fellowes, R.E., made 20 runs, three sixes all over 
the pavilion and a two. Probably no one appre- 
ciated this mighty tapping more than W. G. himself. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 115 

Allusion having been made to his famous partner- 
ship with A. J. Webbe, it is appropriate here to 
insert the particularly genial recollections of the old 
Middlesex captain, who writes as follows : 

" I am sure that none of his friends had a more 
sincere affection or a greater admiration for dear 
old W. G. Grace than myself. I first saw him at 
Harrow in 1871, one afternoon a match at Lord's 
was over early I think with Lord Bessborough, and, 
whilst he was watching a match between the XI and 
Next XVIII, a terrible accident occurred. George 
Cottrill, the first choice of the eleven that year, while 
umpiring was struck behind the ear by a ball hit 
hard and clean to square-leg. I can see, as I write, 
W. G. bending over him. Poor Cottrill was killed, 
practically instantaneously. I had not then any 
opportunity of speaking to W. G. and little thought 
in after years I should play so often and be on such 
affectionate terms with him. 

Frequently, since that day, have I seen W. G. 
hasten up to men slightly injured in the cricket field, 
and I have wondered at the gentleness with which 
those powerful hands were used, and over and over 
again have I said that should I be injured, how thank- 
ful I should be if he were present to come to my aid. 

The first time I ever spoke to the great man was 
in 1875. It was my first big match at Lord's, 
M.C.C. v. Notts, the game in which in the second 
innings Alfred Shaw took 7 wickets for 7 runs. The 
same year we had a partnership in the second innings 
of Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's of 203. W. G, 
made 152. How he used to run in those days ; then 
there was no sign of stoutness in his figure. Several 
times I played with him in the Canterbury Week 
before it was decided to play only county matches 
in the festival. 

In a match Kent and Gloucestershire v. England 
the combination of counties was evidently to secure 


the attraction of W. G.'s presence two incidents 
come to my mind which are, I think, worthy of being 
recorded. England lost the toss and we started with 
only ten men in the field. I was captain and I said 
to Alfred Shaw : ' What shall we do ? ' He replied : 
' Oh, let us place a man between where short slip and 
third man generally stand for an over or two. We 
did this and to our delight, but to the dismay of 
the spectators, the man [it was Alfred Shaw him- 
self] caught W. G. for 9 off Emmett. The cham- 
pion, as he walked away, could not refrain from 
saying : ' He was in no place at all,' which was true, 
as in those days the fieldsmen were always placed 
in stereotyped positions. The place in which Grace 
was caught was really the same the gully where 
A. O. Jones had so many of his victims. However, 
in the second innings W. G. made 91, thus securing 
exactly 100 in the match. Kent and Gloucestershire 
looked like winning easily, but Alfred Shaw bowled 
W. G. and wickets fell so rapidly that G. F. Grace, 
who had changed from his flannels, had to come in 
to bat in his ordinary clothes, and when stumps 
were drawn there were two wickets to fall and thirty 
runs to go. 

I did not very often have the privilege of playing 
on the same side as W. G., but was usually against 
him. An innings of 114 not out that he played in 
Daft's benefit match (North v. South) made a great 
impression on me at the time the next highest score 
in the game was 57. Grace's score gave us a hand- 
some victory, though apart from him we had much 
the weaker eleven ; but in those days he was worth 
at least half a side himself. 

In 1879 Middlesex first played Gloucestershire and 
from then until I retired in 1898 I always looked 
forward to the two matches and particularly to 
meeting W. G. in his own country, for in addition to 
our usually having more closely and keenly contested 
matches, we frequently enjoyed his hospitality in his 

DR. W. G. GRACE 117 

happy home. On the whole I think we were fortu- 
nate in getting him out several times cheaply, but of 
course he made a number of fine scores against us, 
the longest being 221 not out at Clifton in 1885 when 
he carried his bat through the innings, the next best 
score, by H. V. Page, being 37. 

From the first time we met until he passed away- 
just forty years I received nothing but kindness 
from W. G. How pleased I was when I could take 
him home to my mother's house to dinner and, after 
we married, to our own. He was the best known 
man in England and, as I look back, I wonder at 
his modesty ; but his disposition was such that if he 
had never played cricket he would have been wel- 
comed everywhere. I certainly never heard him say 
an unkind thing ; a little peppery sometimes in the 
field, but that is no fault. Admired as he was by the 
whole world as a cricketer, he has left behind him 
something better than the record of his prowess in 
the game, that of a true loving friend, always ready 
to enter into the joys and sorrows of his comrades 
and who never harboured an unkind word of any 

All adverse critics were silenced in 1876 when for 
third and last time Grace's average exceeded 60 and 
his aggregate of 2,622 was the second largest of any 
of his seasons. His bowling average was increased 
to 19 owing to the drier wickets, but he accounted for 
129 opponents, and it is recorded that he puzzled 
professionals more than amateurs. Alfred Shaw, 
(178), he and Allen Hill (109) were the only trium- 
virate to dismiss a hundred batsmen. 

Grace's three consecutive centuries in August 
the fifth time he accomplished this feat in his career 
were by far the most important ever credited to any 
batsman : 344 against Kent, 177 against Notts and 
318 not out against Yorkshire. In these three 
efforts, against such bowling as that of C. A. Absolom, 


W. Foord-Kelcey, G. G. Hearne, A. Shaw, Morley, 
A. Hill, Armitage, Ulyett and Emmett, for twice out 
he scored 839 out of 1,336 made whilst he was at the 
wicket in seventeen and a half hours, his hits includ- 
ing two sevens, four sixes, four fives and one hundred 
and three fours, only two chances being given in the 
triple achievement, whilst in these matches he also 
captured 15 wickets for 20 runs apiece. 

He had begun the Canterbury Week by catching out 
five of the England side, when representing Kent 
and Gloucestershire, and scoring 91, " a very fine dis- 
play of masterly defence and resolute hitting . ' ' Then 
came his record score, since surpassed only four 
times in first-class matches in any part of the world. 
It was a twelve-a-side match. Kent had begun with 
473, Lord Harris in his 154 giving one of his most 
attractive exhibitions, cutting Grace again and again 
in his polished Eton way. M.C.C. could only put 
up 144, and when the follow-on began, W. G. let out 
freely, thinking he would be able to leave for Bristol 
that night. When stumps were drawn he had made 
133 not out in only an hour and fifty minutes. The 
next day he saved the match and increased his own 
contribution to 344, when the very first chance he 
gave was seized by V- K. Shaw off Lord Harris. 
' The record had stood at 278, made by Mr. William 
Ward at Lord's in 1820 and dire the punishment 
threatened by his son, the President of the Cambridge 
University Club, if Grace exceeded it. They met 
shortly after, and he punished him with hearty 
congratulations and a drink from the loving cup in 
which his father had been pledged." 

From Canterbury on the Saturday, Grace came to 
Clifton on the Monday to win the toss against Notts 
and in just over three hours to see 262 on the tele- 
graph, out of which his proportion was 177, made 
under a hot sun by terrific punishment. When 
Richard Daft and Oscroft retorted with 150 for no 
wicket, the prospect of Gloucestershire's victory 

DR. W. G. GRACE 119 

over Notts diminished, but W. G. took 8 wickets for 
69 in the follow-on and there was a 10 wickets 

The best of the three innings he himself considered 
was his 318 in eight hours v. Yorkshire at Chelten- 
ham. At the end of the first day 353 was recorded 
and the total ultimately reached 528. The stand 
with W. O. Moberly yielded 261, of which that sound 
bat obtained 103. Even the last wicket gave no 
end of trouble, as J . A. Bush helped to add 62. It is 
related that Lockwood, who was captain of York- 
shire, found it difficult to get any one to bowl before 
the close of the innings. A pathetic appeal to Allen 
Hill to " have another shy at the big 'un," was 
declined. Tom Emmett said : " Why don't you 
make him; you're captain ? " "Why don't you 
bowl yourself," retorted Hill, " you're frightened." 
" Give me the ball," answered Emmett and sent 
down three consecutive wides. After the first even- 
ing, Tom observed : " Dang it all, it's Grace before 
meat, Grace afterwards and Grace all day, and I 
expect we shall have more Grace to-morrow." They 
had, to the extent of over three figures. 

Emmett had another dose of Grace in Gentlemen 
f. Players at Lord's when in the same over W. G. 
hit him for a six and a seven to the chestnut trees, 
all run out. These were items in a contribution of 
169 out of 262 whilst in, " decidedly one of the 
grandest innings he has ever played." Nor was this 
all, for he proved by far the most successful bowler 
with 9 wickets for 122 runs. It took Richard Daft 
seventy minutes to get 28 off the attack of W. G. 
and Appleby, before the former caught him off the 
latter. In the previous match at the Oval, Emmett 
had enjoyed the felicity of bowling Grace for o, but 
in the second innings had to watch him bat fault- 
lessly for 90 made out of only 140 when in : so quick- 
scoring a bat as A. J. Webbe contributed two singles 
while the champion hit 32. At Prince's the latter 


claimed ten professional wickets, including that of 
Arthur Shrewsbury in both innings. 

With their amicable rivalry as batsmen, it was 
appropriate that Grace should make his mark in 
Richard Daft's benefit match. The South were 
set 190 and in the words of that prince of umpires, 
Robert Thorns " the champion, upsetting aU the 
arrangements of the Northern bowlers, spanked the 
leather about most unmercifully to all points of the 
weathercock and won the match off the reel for the 
Southerners." A. J. Webbe assisted him to put up 
101 for the first wicket and in two hours and a half 
off Alfred Shaw, Allen Hill, Morley and Ulyett- 
W. G. had scored 114 not out and the match was won 
by 8 wickets. An eye-witness writes to the present 
editors : ' ' The feature of his batting was the wonder- 
ful control he had over the ball in placing his hits. 
The fieldsmen were shifted time after time, but no> 
sooner was this done than the next hit was placed 
in the vacancy. It was, indeed, most palpable and 

Grace was a favourite at Trent Bridge and among 
his greatest admirers was old Walker, the ground- 
man. Walker was always very strict on the point of 
cricketers not having their preliminary practice near 
the pavilion for fear they should " smash the win- 
ders." Most visiting players had been warned off 
some time or other. Once, W. G. came out and set his 
practice pitch in the forbidden area, to the amuse- 
ment of the local " pros," who awaited events. 
Old Walker, however, said nothing. So it was sug- 
gested he should ' ' go shift W. G." Walker shook his 
head. " No," he said, " you see 'e knows where 
'e's 'itting 'em and you can't say that of the others." 
So W. G. was allowed to practise in peace. 

On June 24, 1875, when bowled at the Oval by 
Lillywhite without scoring, Grace had not been dis- 
missed for a duck in a first-class match since June 
28, 1872, and then Lillywhite had been the bowler. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 121 

Several other efforts must not be omitted. Sussex 
having headed Gloucestershire on first hands by 8 
runs, W. G. with 104 out of 171 in three hours made 
the match safe by a chanceless innings, and the 
Southerners subsequently were dismissed for 73. 
His own words must be quoted about his work at 
Hull for United South : " My performance in this 
match is unquestionably one of the best I ever did, 
for the bowling of the United North was extremely 
good, and I succeeded nevertheless in making 126 out 
of a total of 159, of which 154 were from the bat, 
and the other ten batsmen only scored 28 runs 
between them, of which Pooley scored 14. I made 
82 in the second innings, which realized a total of 207." 
In these two efforts he hit eleven fours and thirty- 
four threes, including one stroke into a railway truck 
as it was passing, and " more complete mastery of 
bowling was never seen." 

The stupendous minor score of 400 not out for 
United South of England v. XXII of Grimsby rivals 
in interest any of Grace's achievements. He carried 
his bat through a total of 68 1, never gave a chance 
until he had made 350 and hit four sixes, twenty-one 
fours, six threes, fifty-eight twos and one hundred and 
fifty-eight singles. ' ' It was subsequently stated that 
his score was 399, not 400, one being added to make 
the enormous total." In the three days that his 
innings lasted he was about thirteen and a half 
hours at the wicket, the ground being perfect, and 
fifteen bowlers tried to dismiss him. About this 
feat, Canon Tatham writes : 

" The captain of the local team himself a first- 
class amateur in his day and a mainstay of the bril- 
liant Cambridgeshire eleven in the sixties is a friend 
of mine and corroborates W. G.'s statement that 
before the match began, some complaints were made 
by the local men of the weakness of the visiting team. 
All the first-class counties of the South except 


Gloucestershire being engaged, Grace had to make 
up his side with second-rate professionals or those 
retired from first-class cricket, G. F. Grace and 
Gilbert being the only regular members of the eleven 
available. The bowling of the local team was by no 
means weak. My friend tells me that he believes 
W. G. was out l.b.w. when he made 6, but the 
umpire was afraid to give him out. The consolation 
was but a slight one, for in the first two days only three 
wickets were obtained, indeed G. F. Grace alone was 
dismissed on the second. That the bowling for the 
most part was straight and well-pitched is proved 
by the time taken to get the runs and by the fact 
that in W. G.'s huge score only thirty-one strokes 
were for more than two. The birth of his second son 
took place on the second day and was celebrated by 
champagne all round." 

In direct continuation can be given the contribu- 
tion of Arthur Shaw, who writes : 

" Immediately after making his record 400 not 
out against XXII of Grimsby, Dr. W. G. Grace on 
July 13, 1876, brought the United South XI to 
play the United North team at Huddersfield. Grace 
won the toss from Ephraim Lockwood and naturally 
elected to bat first as the wicket was quite good. I 
well remember hearing him say, as he went out to 
open the innings with his cousin W. R. Gilbert, 
' I am going out to bat for the fourth day in succes- 
sion and have not yet lost my wicket.' 

He did not remain long, however, for Allen Hill 
then a really fine fast bowler bowled him off his 
pads for 5 runs. On his return to the pavilion, 
looking rather crestfallen, he was greeted by an 
admirer of Hill's from Lascelles Hall in broad York- 
shire with : ' Tha knaws that nooan laaking agen a 
lot o' cockle'awkers to-day,' which being translated 
meant that Grace was not playing against a team of 
inexperienced cricketers like Grimsby fishermen. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 123 

I noticed W. G. did not quite relish the remarks, 
but a Yorkshire admirer of his quickly replied to the 
Lascelles Hall enthusiast by saying : ' Yo silly devil, 
dost ta expect a chap to mak a booot looad o' notches 
ivvery day,' which meant he could not reasonably 
expect even Grace to make a mammoth score every 
time he went in. It was common knowledge on the 
ground that day that a cricket enthusiast in the dis- 
trict had promised Allen Hill a watch if he got W. G. 
out under twenty runs, after making his record score 
on the previous day. Needless to say, Hill's perform- 
ance met with a hearty cheer. Grace had three 
innings on that Fartown ground at Huddersfield 
during the three days, as a supplementary match was 
arranged to please the five thousand spectators on the 
Saturday afternoon. His three contributions in the 
aggregate only reached 16." 

In one engagement for which Grace collected the 
side, a large marquee was erected for luncheon. It 
was a bitterly cold stormy day and hardly had the 
players sat down to their meal than an ominous 
crackling was heard in the big tent itself. G. F. 
Grace and Frank Townsend sprinted for the opening, 
as did nearly every one else, and were clear before the 
tent came down on the luncheon tables. When 
every one was amused at the absurd collapse, 
G. F.'s mirth being particularly audible, a dis- 
contented growl was heard from under the fallen 
tent : "I say, young 'un, I wish you would stop 
laughing and help get this beastly tent up again. 
I want to get on with my lunch." W. G. had sat 

Weather was by no means favourable in 1877 and 
Grace showed a marked drop in batting but a corre- 
sponding improvement in bowling. Diminished 
though his figures were in comparison with his own 
preceding ones, he was not only head of English 
averages with nearly 40 per innings, but his aggre- 


gate of 1,474 was the largest, only Ephraim Lock- 
wood also obtaining over a thousand runs that 
summer (1,105, average 25). He began the season 
with his solitary duck, at Cambridge, and in forty 
visits to the wicket failed to reach double figures on 
eleven other occasions. Except when Henry Phillips 
stumped him at Brighton and once at Clifton, he was 
caught or bowled every time he was dismissed, and 
in no other summer proportionately could fast 
bowlers so frequently claim his dismissal. 

One feat with the ball commands attention. At 
Cheltenham, for Gloucestershire v. Notts, he bowled 
76 overs 36 maidens, for 89 runs and 17 wickets, the 
last seven being obtained without a run, three in one 
over. " No greater exploit was recorded. Against 
a county eleven such a result might have been 
regarded as impossible." He had placed both G. F. 
Grace and W. R. Gilbert at long-leg. Bat after bat 
fell into the trap, only to be scolded by their captain 
Richard Daft. " He was wiser, quieter and merci- 
lessly chaffed when he hit the second ball bowled to 
him to the same place." [F. S. Ashley-Cooper 
refers to this game in his reminiscences to be found in 
Chapter XVIIL] " That week was certainly a lucky 
one for W. G.'s bowling, as at Clifton, on the following 
day against Yorkshire, he took the last eight York- 
shire wickets in ten overs, and the last six batsmen 
for only the same number of runs," besides hitting 
71 out of 103 while in. Thus writes Incog, in the 
Red Lillywhite, but the printed score shows slight 
variation. On the same ground, a fortnight later, 
he captured 5 Surrey wickets for only 26 runs. 
His splendid bowling analysis for the county was 
81 wickets for only 9 runs apiece. This contributed 
largely to a season of unparalleled success in the 
annals of Gloucestershire, for the Western county 
was champion for the second year in succession. 
From 1870 to 1877, the side (purely amateur until the 
welcome advent of Midwinter the giant Australian 

DR. W. G. GRACE 125 

in the current season) had played 51 matches, of 
which 33 had been won and only 7 lost. 

Eleven years had elapsed since a county had 
played England, but Gloucestershire did so and won 
by 5 wickets. The national side was not altogether 
representative, but in this demonstration of how one 
family could build up a county side it was no mean 
feat to defeat an eleven composed of A. P. Lucas, J. M. 
Cotterill, F. Penn, J. Furley with Jupp, E. Lock wood, 
Arthur Shrewsbury, Pooley, Emmett, Barratt and 
W. Mycroft. W. G. Grace, as he was rather prone 
to do, put in his opponents first, took 7 wickets 
before hitting five fours in his 31, besides helping to 
bring off a wonderful catch, Jupp returning a ball so 
hard to him that it bounded off his arm to Fairbanks 
at mid- wicket, who held it at the third attempt. 

Against the North, in the Whit-Monday game at 
Lord's, W. G. bowled through both innings, in the 
second getting 8 wickets for 36 runs. The Southern- 
ers needed 92 on a dreadful wicket, but he hit with 
such splendid courage, forcing Mycroft and Morley 
to the tune of 58 out of 77 while in, that they scram- 
bled a bare victory by 3 wickets. At Prince's 
between the same sides, he contributed the largest 
innings of the year, 261, one which " was a very fine 
one both for defence and hitting." He actually 
hit his first two hundred runs in four hours out 
of a total of 390 for one wicket. Not content 
with this he took n wickets for 139 runs, get- 
ting Richard Daft each time. At the Oval he 
began with a desperately punishing 54 out of 
76, being the first man out. The match was a 
keen one, South winning by a single wicket, the 
last man Fillery coming in and snicking a lucky 

Grace bowled unchanged with W. S. Patterson 
through the second effort of the Players at the Oval, 
claiming 5 for 67, Alfred Lyttelton being particu- 
larly dexterous in snatching catches wide of the 


wicket. At Lord's, his 41 was a good innings and the 
highest, leading the way to the wonderful effort of 
G. F. Grace and W. S. Patterson who made the 46 
required when associated for the last wicket. For 
Gloucestershire and Yorkshire v. England odd 
combinations of counties were tried for the sake of 
variety in those days in unpropitious weather, 
W. G. in getting 52 out of the first 93 hit a ball for 
six into Dark's garden. Next day, on his twenty- 
ninth birthday, he obtained no out of 200 while in 
compiled in his very best style. At one period he 
scored 33, whilst Ulyett a great hitter made one, 
and he sent a ball on to the top of the pavilion. 

Yet another combination was tried at Canterbury 
when W. G. Grace and A. W. Ridley played for Kent 
as " given men " to use the old-time phrase 
against England. Arriving late, W. G. did not go 
in first, but obtained 50 out of 96 and 58 out of in. 
For M.C.C. and Ground v. Kent, after only one run 
divided the sides at the close of an innings apiece, he 
settled the result by taking 6 wickets for 19 and 
making 49 not out out of the 74 required, the runs 
being hit off for the loss of a wicket under the 

It is worth noting that about this period began the 
recurrent rumour of his imminent retirement. As 
this may be regarded as closing the pre-Australian 
portion of English cricket, his superb averages 
in the thirteen seasons he had thus far participated 
in first-class cricket may be summarized. (Naturally 
the figures given are the revised ones of F. S. Ashley- 
Cooper, whose research and minuteness are only 
equalled by his unimpeachable accuracy.) 

Innings Not Runs Average 

377 36 18,374 53*88 

Balls Runs Wickets Average 

40,952 16,041 1,142 

DR. W. G. GRACE 127 

An unbounded field for speculation is opened by 
considering what these figures would have been 
could the champion have been playing under modern 

The New Era 


WG. GRACE was less affected by the revolution 
9 that the Australians effected in English 
cricket than any other player of note who continued 
in first-class matches for a dozen seasons after- 
wards. His batting was in no degree modified by 
the innumerable subtle changes that crept into the 
game. All variations in attack continued to be 
subdued by his masterful ability just as those in the 
preceding decade had been. His own bowling in 
the eighties was on the same lines as it had been 
ever since he had changed his method in the early 
seventies. As a captain he did not exhibit the same 
modification of the placing of his field to suit the 
exigencies of batsmen as others did after Gregory 
and Murdoch set them the example. He always 
placed his men with great care for his own deliveries. 
Otherwise, for the most part, he left it to the bowler, 
and if the latter gave no hint Grace allowed the side 
to take up conventional positions. True the placing 
of his field in the nineties varied from that of the 
seventies, but this was due to his insensibly following 
custom, not to his being in the van of innovation. 
For instance, the partial abolition of point to him 
would have seemed extraordinary, though he was 
not stereotyped. He had no prejudices, he listened 

The beginning of his square cut 

(From an action-photograph by G. W. Beldam.) 

DR. W. G. GRACE 129 

to discussions of innovations, but, for the most 
part, he was content with things as they were and did 
not consider that the game needed tampering with. 
Three times in 1878 he was pitted against the 
Australians. The match of matches of course was 
the extraordinary one in which the Colonials beat a 
fine side of M.C.C. and Ground in a single day by 
9 wickets. The ground was all in favour of the 
bowlers, but to dismiss an eleven composed of W. G. 
Grace, A. N. Hornby, C. Booth, A. W. Ridley, A. J. 
Webbe, G. F. Vernon with Wild, Flowers, G. G. 
Hearne, Shaw and Morley for 33 and 19 remains one 
of the curiosities of cricket. F. R. Spofforth took 
6 wickets for 4 runs and 4 wickets for 16 ; H. F. 
Boyle captured 3 for 14 and 6 for 3. W. G. Grace's 
share in the match was to hit the first ball to leg for 
four, but to be caught at short-leg by Midwinter off 
the next ; whilst in the second innings he was bowled 
neck and crop by Spofforth. Punch in a capital 
parody stated that 

" The Australians came down like a wolf on a fold, 
The Marylebone cracks for a trifle were bowled, 
Our Grace, before dinner, was very soon done, 
And Grace, after dinner, did not get a run." 

The playing space was ridiculously curtailed and 
the arrangements for spectators hopelessly inade- 
quate when the Gentlemen met our visitors at 
Prince's and beat them easily by an innings and one 
run, due to the complete failure of their batting. 
Though A. G. Steel had the main share of success 
with the ball, to W. G. was due no little of the credit 
of the victory, for his 6 wickets only cost 52, and with 
W. R. Gilbert he opened the batting, playing the 
now redoubted attack with confidence, making top- 
score, 25, out of the first 43 before he was bowled 
by Boyle. 

It has been stated that the Australians were parti- 
cularly anxious to defeat the county of the Graces, 


and the encounter proved a strenuous one, ending in 
a Colonial success by 10 wickets, " the first defeat 
ever sustained by Gloucestershire on a home ground." 
In no other first-class match in England was F. R. 
Spofforth credited with the highest innings on 
either side, but he punished the bowling of W. G. 
with severity, obtaining 44, besides taking 7 wickets 
for 49 and 5 for 41. The persistency with which 
Grace bowled aroused considerable criticism and 
Lillywhite contained this stricture in the review of 
Gloucestershire : " Our cricketers should take two 
examples from the Australians first, change your 
bowlers when they don't get wickets ; secondly, 
don't let a bowler be captain. " There had previously 
been considerable friction between the Graces and 
the Australians, due to the former claiming Mid- 
winter for a county match at the Oval when he was 
turning out for the Colonials on another metropo- 
litan ground : E. M. and W. G. Grace actually went 
down in a four-wheeler and brought back the giant 
from St. John's Wood. He took no part in the match 
between his fellow-colonials and his own county side. 
Continuing his recollections of Grace, F. R. 
Spofforth writes : 

" The next time I met him was in that famous 
one-day match at Lord's. The curious thing was that 
though the Club's first total was only 33, yet there 
was a change, because I was put on in place of Allan 
because he was bowling so : badly, though he got 
Grace's wicket. We knew nothing of the English 
climate then and fielded shivering in silk shirts, not 
one of the team having a sweater. 

The figures Sir Home Gordon has shown me of 
what Grace did in matches against me, 37 innings, 
1,042 runs, 28*16 average, considerably less than 
his general average, bears out my theory that I 
never had any particular difficulty in getting him 
out. I clean bowled him seven times. A. C. M. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 131 

Croome says that W. G. told him that on any wicket 
he never knew when I should bowl him. This may 
have been due in part to my artfulness. I always 
had a silly mid-on for him and that invariably wor- 
ried him. I used to put my fingers round the ball in 
odd ways when bowling to W. G., just because I 
knew he watched my hand so closely. Once he 
hit a single off what was merely a long hop, and 
when he came to my end he asked, ' What were you 
trying to do with that ball ? ' I had not been trying 
anything except to lull him into inattention, but I 
replied : ' You are the luckiest bat in the world ; it's 
just my bad luck that I did not get on a big break 
from the off and send you back/ The very next 
ball he had from me, he was ready for me to try that 
big break. I knew he would be, I was sure his great 
leg would come in front to allow him to reach the 
ball. So I sent a perfectly straight one dead at the 
leg-stump, which hit him hard on the pad. ' How's 
that? ' ' Out,' said Luke Greenwood, and as W. G. 
walked back, grumbling and growling, he added : ' I 
can't help it ; no, not if you was the Prince of Wales 

My theory is that most people did not bowl so well 
to Grace as they did to other batsmen. They were 
a bit afraid of what he would do to their balls and 
so their balls had a little less devil. I am sure this 
was the case not only with professionals, but with a 
good many amateurs ; never in my case. Of course 
I was not against him when he scored that grand 
152 in the first test match at the Oval. I had broken 
the top of my metacarpal and had been for a six 
weeks' holiday in Jersey, but came back and saw the 
wonderful game. I bowled him in the first innings 
of the 1,882 match when we Australians won by 7 
runs. He played an excellent 32 himself when 
England was set 85 to win, and it was after that 
defeat that Horan records he saw him looking a bit 
downcast for the only time. W. G. said to him : 


4 Well, well. I left six men to get thirty odd runs and 
they could not get them.' 

Only once did I play on the same side as W. G. 
Even in the Smokers and Non-Smokers in 1884 1 was 
opposed to him. Part of that time we were feeding 
George Bonnor just to enjoy his glorious hitting. I 
was more pleased to be punished by him in that 
friendly game than at getting lots of wickets. He, by 
the way, was an occasional cigarette smoker, but 
compiled an amazing 124 out of 156 while in for the 
Nons. Though W. G. only made 10 when George 
Palmer caught and bowled him, he took 5 wickets for 
29 runs and clean bowled Percy McDonnell each 

I think Grace had more qualities as a good captain 
than are sometimes granted. His great merit was 
that he never offended the bowler. A bowler does 
not possess the disposition of a batsman. The 
latter stays at the wicket just as long as he can. A 
bowler may suffer from a sense of injury through 
being taken off before he considers he had a fair show. 
Directly he fears he will not get that, he bowls for 
maiden overs, and that is not bowling. Bowling is 
an offensive attack to get wickets, not a defensive 
effort to keep down runs. Grace always allowed 
his bowlers their fair fling, and this is what I have 
not heard put to his credit. To the end he remained 
a captain according to the earlier traditions. That 
is to say he set his field pretty much on the lines of 
olden days, not modifying for individual idiosyn- 
crasies of batsmen as modern English captains 
first learnt to do from Gregory and Murdoch, who 
were both uncommonly good to their bowlers. 
Grace modified the fieldsmen on the leg-side for his 
own bowling, but that was personal, a bowler's 
artifice, not one of captaincy. But of all, as captain, 
he never allowed his own enthusiasm or that of his 
side to flag. My crowning memory of him is of his 
unceasing keenness." 

DR. W. G. GRACE 133 

1878 witnessed the earliest diminution in the 
amount of cricket played by W. G. Grace. His first- 
class engagements were as numerous as ever, but his 
form was affected alike by a wet cold season and by 
his medical studies, which forced him to sever his 
connection with the United South. " It was evident 
from the first that he had not his usual mastery of 
the bowling, his sight apparently not being as good 
as usual, and those sharp hits on the ground, rebound- 
ing over point's head on a hard ground, did not 
help him as usuaT." Though Ulyett, who alone 
besides Grace scored 11,000 runs, beat him in aggre- 
gate (1,314 as compared with 1,151), W. G. was 
easily the best all-round man in England, for he 
obtained 152 wickets in addition to his score. It 
may be of interest to add that A. G. Steel averaged 
22 with the bat, but his 164 wickets cost the amazing 
number of only 9 runs each. 

Grace had but one century in 1878, 116 for Glouces- 
tershire v. Notts which, on a dead wicket, took him 
five and a half hours to compile assisted by several 
lives. Playing for Tom Emmett's benefit at Shef- 
field, in a game wherein the rest of his county eleven 
did practically nothing, W. G. batted with admirable 
judgment for 62 and 35. It was always locally 
asserted that Old Trafford was not a favourable 
ground to the champion, but on Gloucestershire's 
first appearance, he was a long way the best run-getter 
on the side with 32 and an invaluable 58 not out, 
which saved the match when A. G. Steel was mowing 
down wickets. Alec Watson has related that twenty 
thousand spectators were attracted by the announce- 
ment of the advent of the champion. 

Grace has himself narrated how Jupp and Souther- 
ton tried to get him in a fix when the ball bounded 
into an opening of his shirt, whilst he was running 
in Gloucestershire v. Surrey match at Clifton. Frank 
Townsend and he had run three when the ball lodged 
there, and after three more had been run, the two- 


Surrey professionals collared the batsman. " We 
don't know how many runs you mean to run, sir ; 
but you might give us the ball." " No, thank you ; 
take it out for yourself, Jupp," replied W. G., laugh- 
ing, ''you don't get me out that way." Jupp, by 
the way, he regarded as the safest catch in the long 
field that he ever saw. 

His finest exhibition, as so often happened, was 
when the chief demand was made on his skill, namely 
at Lord's batting against the Players. So well did he 
open against Alfred Shaw, Emmett, Barlow, Mid- 
winter, Ulyett and Morley that in an hour and fifty 
minutes before luncheon he had scored 78 not out, 
which he increased to 90 out of 151 when Shaw 
caught him remarkably well, left-handed. "It is 
only truth to record that for correct timing and safe 
placing the ball, clean hitting and first-class defence 
this innings was one of the best he ever played." 
Ten' fours and seven threes were the chief strokes. 
The left-handed catch at point with which he dis- 
lodged Richard Daft was remarkable, for it was one 
of the rare occasions when the impetus of the ball 
forced his strong frame to swing round. No fields- 
man was ever firmer on his feet than W. G. 

Nor had he " lost form " at the Oval, where it was 
his personal prowess that mainly accounted for the 
defeat of the professionals by 55 runs. He went in 
first and was last man out in a total of 76, of which 
his share was 40, without anything like a chance. 
In the second innings he fairly mastered the attack, 
his 63 being by far the largest contribution in the 
match. He was given out for obstruction and on 
returning to the pavilion remarked : "I don't fear 
the bowlers, but I do fear the umpires." Five 
wickets fell to his share and he cleverly caught and 
bowled Arthur Shrewsbury, who alone offered 
prolonged resistance. 

The Whit-Monday match at Lord's was his other 
notable occasion. Before eleven thousand people, 

DR. W. G. GRACE 135 

he batted freely for 45, including two tremendous 
smites into the crowd " bringing out roars of delighted 
cheers." Next day, he scored very fast in his 77, a 
feature of which was two grand drives to the trees 
off successive balls from Morley. Thus he made 122 
out of 174 for the South, his bowling accounted for 9 
wickets and his " wonderfully active and efficient 
fielding saved an incalculable number of runs." 
This was one of the occasions when he went to the 
crowd and entreated them to give a little more 
fielding space, laughing with and chaffing them in 
delightful fashion, shaking hands with any who 
wanted to and getting his own way, whilst growing 
more liked every time he came into personal contact 
with the throng. 

The rainfall of 1879 has remained proverbial 
among cricketers ever since, and Grace was unable 
to play at all in May owing to the demands of his 
medical studies. He laid the foundation of his pro- 
fessional knowledge at Bristol Medical School, subse- 
quently studied at St. Bartholomew's and West- 
minster hospitals and in November obtained his 
L.R.C.P. at Edinburgh as well as the M.R.C.S. of 
England. All the same, he recovered his old position 
at the head of the batting averages, whilst with 105 
wickets for 13 runs apiece he stood third in the 
bowling, only surpassed in aggregate by Shaw and 
Morley, though A. G. Steel's 93 wickets averaged a 
run less. 

His earliest appearance was on Whit-Monday for 
Alfred Shaw's match at Lord's, and nothing in his 
whole career was more generous and chivalrous than 
his action in relation to this rightly popular profes- 
sional. For when the weather proved so disastrous 
to the beneficiare, Grace wrote to the Committee of 
M.C.C. saying he should be pleased if they would 
sanction the proceeds of his own complimentary 
inatch being added (less the expenses) as a subscrip- 
tion to the lists of Shaw. There is no parallel in 


cricket to this and it is one which must remain a 
permanent monument to the credit of the kindly 
champion. As a matter of fact the elements proved 
even more perverse and the slow bowler reaped little 

It is a cricket axiom that hardly ever does a man 
do himself justice in his own match and W. G. 
proved no exception, for Morley bowled him for the 
unenviable cypher and he was subsequently caught 
for a single figure ; but some excellent bowling, 6 for 
32 all victims to his wiliness, for not one of his 
balls hit the stump enabled his side to win by 7 
wickets. The elevens chosen for this testimonial 
game for W. G. were as follows : Over Thirty : W. G. 
Grace, E. M. Grace, F. Townsend with Richard Daft, 
Selby, Oscroft, Emmett, Wild, Alfred Shaw, Pooley 
and Morley ; Under Thirty : Ivo Bligh (subsequently 
Lord Darnley), Alfred Lyttelton, Vernon Royle, 
Frank Penn, G. F. Grace with Barlow, Bates, 
Barnes, G. G. Hearne and Morley. Though both 
elevens were excellent, the names of several promi- 
nent amateurs were conspicuously missing. 

In front of the pavilion a presentation was made 
to W. G. Grace of a sum of 1,458 and a marble clock 
suitably inscribed, as well as two bronze ornaments. 
Lord Fitzhardinge, who made the presentation, said 
the original idea had been to purchase a practice for 
Mr. Grace, but that he had talked the matter over 
with the Duke of Beaufort and they thought Mr. 
Grace was old enough and strong enough to choose a 
practice for himself. 

W. G. began by saying he was not a speech-maker, 
but he thanked them all for the manner in which 
they had got up the testimonial. It had far exceeded 
his expectations, and whenever he looked at the 
clock he should remember the occasion on which it 
was presented to him. 

Lord Charles Russell, in a humorous speech, said 
he had seen greater bowlers than Mr. Grace, but he 

DR. W. G. GRACE 137 

would say with a clear conscience that he had never 
seen a better field and he had never seen any one to 
approach him as a bat. He was never able to tell 
whether he was playing a winning or a losing game. 
He had never seen the slightest lukewarmness or 
inertness in him. If they wanted to see Mr. Grace 
play cricket, he would ask them to look at him 
playing one ball. They all knew the miserably 
tame effect of the ball hitting the bat instead of the 
bat hitting the ball. In playing a ball, Mr. Grace 
put every muscle into it from the sole of his foot to the 
crown of his head ; and just as he played one ball, 
so he played cricket. He was heart and soul in it. 
Never did a bell ring for cricketers to go into the field, 
but Mr. Grace was in first, and that was a great 
matter in cricket playing. The Marylebone Club 
held its ground for the practice and promotion of 
good sound cricket, and it was for that reason they 
had such great delight in taking part in this testi- 
monial to Mr. Grace, who was in every respect of the 
word a thorough cricketer. 

Alfred Shaw, in his narrative of his own career, 
wrote : 

" Many and many a duel I have had with ' the 
Doctor/ It was no uncommon thing for me to 
bowl at him in matches six days a week. Though 
his wicket was so difficult to secure, it was always a 
treat to bowl to him. He had not only a wonderful 
eye, but a masterly knowledge of what to do with 
every variety of ball and how to do it. Bowl him a 
ball on the off stump and he would play it to the off ; 
place him one on the leg stump and he would play it 
to the on. If either was a foot short or a foot too 
far up, he would score off it. Then, again, the ball 
which rose hastily on the off-side and needed cutting, 
he would put down between the slips." 

In conversation, Alfred Shaw once observed that 
the great secret of W. G.'s success as a bowler was 


that he sent down more balls on the blind spot of a 
batsman than any one else ever did. On another 
occasion he said : "I would sooner bowl to G. F. 
while he makes a hundred than to W. G. while he 
makes fifty. I can see all the wickets when G. F. is 
in, but when W. G. is in, what with his big bat, his 
big pads and his big body, I never see half the 
wickets from the first to the last ball of the over. I 
know they are somewhere behind him and have to 
guess at them." 

On a very dead wicket, Grace played a masterly 
innings of 123 for his county against Surrey, though 
lie had three lives. It was the only feature of a dull 
game in which, by further capturing 9 wickets, he 
had the main share in a success by 10 wickets. His 
1 02 at Trent Bridge on a pitch ruined by rain was not 
one of his best, still its actual value may be indicated 
by the facts that the next highest effort was 26 and 
the total only reached 197. At Lord's v. Middlesex 
he took 6 wickets for only 16 runs. In home matches 
in August he displayed wonderful form. Against 
Middlesex, when 1,063 runs were scored for only 27 
wickets on a really hard pitch, he and W. R. Gilbert 
put on 161 for the first wicket, his share being 85, 
whilst his masterly 81 not out saved his side later on 
in notable fashion. He gave Lancashire practically 
a one-man show, taking 7 wickets for 37 and making 
75 not out out of 123. It was not his fault that 
Notts were victors in the first inter-county match 
Gloucestershire ever lost on a home ground, for he 
was top-scorer in each innings with 27 and 33, besides 
taking 6 wickets for 37 runs. Arthur Shrewsbury 
and Barnes on fourth hands, however, batted with 
implacable dexterity. Against Surrey at Cirencester 
trace's bowling was again the salient feature, 8 for 
8 1 and 7 for 35, the latter remarkable in his case 
because he clean bowled six of the visitors. The soli- 
tary match against Somersetshire has always been 
reckoned as first-class, though it was not. It proved 

DR. W. G. GRACE 139 

an easy walk-over for the county of the Graces and 
W. G. scored 113. Oddly enough the redoubtable 
Oxonian fast bowler A. H. Evans only claimed the 
wicket of G. F. Grace. 

Living up to his repute for always doing something 
in a benefit match, W. G., in that of James Souther- 
ton, with 21 and 41 alone made the least headway 
against Bates and Morley, who were quite irresistible. 
Previously, for the Gentlemen at the Oval, he had 
been compelled to play in unwontedly defensive 
fashion, Alfred Shaw sending down nineteen consecu- 
tive overs for only two runs ; but he made his 26 
out of 34 whilst in. At Lord's what W. G. himself 
termed a surprisingly clever catch by Oscroft left- 
handed settled him at the outset. Grace subse- 
quently said his happiest moments that summer 
were when in Alfred Shaw's ruined benefit match he 
sent two consecutive balls from that bowler, who 
always gave him most cause for attention, the one 
into Dark's garden for six and the other on to the top 
of the tavern for the same amount. 

Canon Edward Lyttelton, the retired head-master 
of Eton, who was himself a fine bat and magnificent 
field as well as captain of the famous Cambridge 
eleven of 1878, writes : 

" I omit all restatement of what has been already 
well said, but wish to rescue from oblivion certain 
technical points in which his batting was either quite 
distinctive, or at least wonderful from its excellence 
on familiar lines. 

It is quite true that he was strangely lacking in 
attractiveness of style, but I should dispute what has 
been said that the effort in each stroke was obvious. 
The style was unattractive, not because it was 
laborious, but because the movements were ungainly. 
The immense shoulders were put into the stroke more 
obviously than the wrists, and this took away all 
.grace from the movement, but the power was aston- 


ishing because of the perfection of the timing and the 
leg work. For instance, in the digging stroke past 
point for a good-length ball six inches off the off 
stump, what was noticed was the awkward heave of 
the shoulders as he bent right over the ball, and the 
curious prod with the elbows ; but the force with 
which the ball went was astonishing, till one noticed 
that the movement of the upper part of the body was 
perfectly combined with a stamp of the right foot. 
I saw him in 1878 make this stroke so mightily that, 
though Barlow's horny left hand was enough in the 
way to deflect the ball 45 , it went off the palm right 
away to the ropes for four. I think Tom Emmett 
was the bowler. 

He never reached his arms right forward for the 
forward stroke, but seemed to contain himself in 
order to make sure that the ball was not turning on 
the ground before he played. But once, in 1875, 
he met his decease at the hand of that astute artist 
Alfred Shaw. The ball pitched at a perfect length on 
the off stump, shot down the hill and took the leg 
stump, just missing the bat which was advancing, 
but not far enough. I think this was because the 
break was more than could be expected from the 
nature of the ground. But the next innings Shaw 
prudently cried off for some injury, fancied or real, 
in the foot, and the unfortunate Players had a dusty 
time of it. It was then that I observed his unique 
play of the shooter. Morley of Nottingham was just 
at his best as a fast bowler, but the most witless 
cricketer to be found anywhere. He slammed in 
the balls at exactly the same pace and length over 
after over, being that kind of bowler who was so 
punished by W. G. that he may be said to have be- 
come insignificant in first-class cricket for several 
years. The mechanical fast bowler, in short, had to 
exercise his craft furtively on grounds remote from 
the Leviathan's presence. 

Now 1875 was the last year in which shooters were 

DR. W. G. GRACE 141 

common at Lord's, and any one who knows the pace 
at which Morley's balls used to shoot on the leg stump, 
and the profound satisfaction that it gave to stop one 
of them solidly, something after the manner of that 
superb craftsman R. A. H. Mitchell, will understand 
the unspeakable mastery of the ball which was 
revealed by W. G.'s performance. He scored 152 
in that innings, but it was only by degrees that we 
detected what he was doing with the shooter. He 
brought down the bat with a curious dig, at such an 
angle that it not only went forcibly towards mid-on, 
but he positively placed it on each side of the field as 
he chose. Of course, if Morley had changed his pace 
instead of bowling like a machine, or if the wicket 
liad been of the kicking sort, this could not have been 
done. It was the most titanic display of batting 
that ever I have seen. 

Another feature of his play was that he was never 
out of form ; of course, his scoring differed in amount, 
but as far as I could see there was no stretch of time 
when his eye appeared to be off. For instance, in 
1879 a nightmare year of heavy rain a huge crowd 
gathered in awful weather on Whit-Monday, and W. G. 
went in for a few minutes to see what could be done 
in the way of play. Alfred Shaw was bowling, and, 
though there had been no good cricket for many days 
before, he knew he could trust W. G. to respond 
without fail to any venture for a big hit ; so, in order 
to give the crowd something to cheer at, he dropped 
him three half-volleys on his legs (from the pavilion 
end), which were all despatched with perfect ease 
to the tavern. In that terrible year other batsmen 
might have done it, but no one but W. G. could 
have been relied upon to do it. Akin to this was 
the fact that in his prime he would travel on a night 
journey from Canterbury to Clifton (as I am 
pretty sure he did in August, 1876) and play a colossal 
innings on arrival, not only showing no symptoms of 
fatigue, but quite unconscious that there was any- 


thing remarkable in what he did. This was charac- 
teristic of the man. No one ever had a more unana- 
lytic brain. Once when there was a discussion as to 
how a certain difficult ball should be played, one of 
those present asked him his opinion, and he said 
with the utmost simplicity, ' I should say you ought 
to put the bat against the ball ' (pronounced like the 
name of the Swiss town Bale). 

His power of eye was well shown in an innings in 
1879 against Bates of Yorkshire, who was breaking 
back on a sticky wicket most formidably. W. G. 
detected the moment the ball left Bates's hand where 
it was going to pitch, and if it were an awkward 
length he would lurch a foot or so from his ground 
so as easily to reach the pitch, and suppress the ball 
before it had time to turn. In fact, it looked as 
though he might have run out and hit it on the half- 
volley ; but I fancy that his great weight made that 
difficult for him, or possibly he might have done so 
at a later stage in the innings. 

Many cricketers will think that it was to be 
deplored that he forsook the old-fashioned leg hit 
for the sliding stroke. There was something, to my 
mind, unsportsmanlike about this, though no doubt 
he reduced it to such a certainty that it added to his 
average ; but if Mitchell or W. Oscroft or George 
Parr had adopted these cautious tactics, instead of 
hitting to leg as they did, the world would have 
been the poorer for all time. 

Howitt oi Middlesex, the fast left-hand bowler, 
used to sling the ball in straight at the batsman's 
person, rather short, trusting to it bounding high, 
and getting the batsman caught at short-leg. In his 
later days he used to relate gleefully how W. G. 
was on one occasion uneasy at these balls, and was 
observed by Howitt to look round at short-leg just 
before the ball was bowled, and then place a slightly 
uppish stroke two or three feet on one side of him. 
Old Tom Hearne was short-leg, and Howitt made a 



plot with him that after W. G. had prospected r 
Hearne should move two feet to the right at a certain 
ball in the next over. The plot came off to perfec- 
tion, and the ball was landed in Tom's hands, the 
bourne in which it very seldom failed to find a resting- 
place, and the great man had to go." 

Tests and Triumphs 


WG. GRACE played in the first great test match 
. in England in 1880 and, as was only appro- 
priate, the champion achieved the grand national 
success on the victorious side. But this was at the 
very close of the season and other games must claim 
precedence. Again he took a comparatively small 
part in important cricket, only sixteen matches, 
and though his batting average was 39, his bowling 
proved more expensive on harder grounds, namely 
17, so he did not quite reach either his thousand runs 
or his hundred wickets. 

Not seen in the field until June, the bulk of his 
work was effected for his county. " In the last three 
matches he played the following wonderful series of 
innings 67, 31 not out, 89, 57 not out and 106, or 350 
runs for three times out. His hitting against time 
to win the returns with Surrey and Yorkshire was 

Batting at Lord's v. Middlesex, he showed all his 
old skill for 69, though the innings was marked by 
alternate sallies of hard hitting and of dogged defence. 
In a rain-ruined encounter with Notts at Trent 
Bridge, after getting 5 wickets for 40 runs, he played 
exceeding well for 36. But it was in the home 
iixtures that he proved redoubtable. If he made 


DR. W. G. GRACE 145 

comparatively few runs against Middlesex, it was 
his excellent bowling in the second innings that 
laid the real foundation for a 5 wickets victory. 
Against Lancashire, he changed his order of going 
in so as to keep himself until next day, but when 5 
wickets were gone for 50, was forced to bat within a 
few minutes of time. Next morning he played with 
superb distinction for 106, compiled in less than three 
hours, no one else in the innings or in the rest of the 
match getting 50. It was a rare good contribution 
against the bowling of Appleby, Nash, Watson and 
Barlow. The tale of the sensational victory over 
Surrey is told later in this chapter. Against Yorkshire 
W. G. "seized another opportunity of showing how he 
could score against time. Less than an hour and a 
half was left in which to make 84, but so fast did he 
score that, despite the time elapsing through four 
wickets falling, the runs were obtained with a quarter 
of an hour to spare, his share being 57 out of 77 from 
the bat. It would be impossible to speak too highly 
of his batting in this match ; it was equal to anything 
he had previously done." 

It was the victory of the Australians over Glouces- 
tershire, due mainly to wretched fielding by the 
home side, for which W. G. took n wickets for 134 
runs, that intensified the desire for a test match. 
Finally it was arranged for the somewhat late date of 
September 6 at the Oval, and W. G. Grace was one of 
those who cordially worked to get over many diffi- 
culties. The England side was admirably selected, 
and there was appropriateness in including all three 
Graces in that first historic encounter. The rest of 
the team was composed of Lord Harris, Frank Penn, 
A. P. Lucas, A. G. Steel, Alfred Lyttelton with 
Barnes, Shaw and Morley. How strange that but 
two should survive only six and thirty years later. 
The Australians were badly handicapped, an injury 
to his hand depriving them of the help of Spofforth. 
Fifty thousand spectators witnessed a contest worthy 


of the occasion played on so good a pitch that it was 
sarcastically called " a bread and butter wicket." 
England opened its innings with E. M. and W. G. 
Grace to the attack of H. F. Boyle and G. E. Palmer, 
and right well the brothers played, putting up 91 
before the elder was sent back, thus giving the 
mother country a splendid start. W. G. seldom 
played a more masterly innings. Anxiety to do 
himself justice made him over-cautious at the start, 
but once set to his work, he hit in the matchless style 
of his best days. The changes in the Australian 
bowling were of very poor quality and he punished 
them pretty severely. Towards the close he played 
more forward than was customary with him until 
beaten by a good delivery from Palmer, having made 
152. How tjie Australians followed on 271 runs 
behind and forced England to scramble rather 
crudely for 57 furnished one of the grandest feats 
in cricket lore. The superlatively fine innings of 
W. L. Murdoch will always remain one of the heroic 
performances of the game, and he not only eclipsed 
Grace's score by a run, but was also undefeated. 
One of the episodes was the way in which W. G. 
heartily shook him by the hand in the field in token 
of congratulation, thus cementing a friendship which 
years afterwards was to ripen into one of intimacy. 

A. G. Steel told the co-editor who is writing this 
chapter how he heard some of the Australians dis- 
cussing whether Murdoch was a finer bat than Grace. 
Alec Bannerman, however, settled the question point- 
blank : " W. G. has forgotten more about batting 
than Billy ever knew." It was A. G. Steel too who 
at a test match said : " Other men keep their right 
foot pretty steady, but W. G. never moves it during 
the actual stroke, and that is what I have always 
envied most in him." 

Lord Harris avails himself of the present oppor- 
tunity to make a valuable statement as to the first 
test match : 

DR. W. G. GRACE 147 

" The lateness of the date was due to the fact that 
the Australians had come without invitation and 
there was still some feeling amongst English cricketers 
in consequence of an unfortunate incident at Sydney 
during the tour of the English eleven in 1878-79, of 
which I was captain. The excellence of their play, 
however, obliterated by degrees these feelings, but 
not till late in the season. The late C. W. Alcock, 
besides being very keen about the game, always had 
an eye for the main chance, i.e. Oval gate money, 
and appeared one day in August at Canterbury when 
Kent was playing there in order to implore me to 
waive my objections, ' help to get together a team ' 
and captain it. To this, after much talk, I con- 
sented, and I had to bring a lot of pressure to bear on 
several prominent amateurs to return from Scotland 
in order to play. They did so, but were in nothing 
like full practice. The Lord Mayor subsequently 
entertained both teams at the Mansion House, when I 
took the opportunity to bury the hatchet as regards 
the Sydney incident." 

Earlier in that prolonged cricket season, Grace 
had contributed top score, 49, for the Gentlemen at 
Lord's ; " probably the most patient innings he had 
ever played." It took him two hours and forty 
minutes to compile without a mistake. " His 
defence to Morley's shooters on a half-dried wicket 
was magnificent." Over Thirty v. Under Thirty pro- 
duced a thrilling conclusion, the veterans losing by 
only 3 runs. W. G. had done yeoman service for 
them. He began the match by taking the first four 
wickets those of Barnes, Midwinter, C. T. Studd and 
Bates which he followed with one of his very fine 
exhibitions of rapid run-getting, scoring 51 out of 73, 
and when 142 was needed to win, played with attrac- 
tive freedom for 49 out of 68. At Canterbury, for 
the Gentlemen of England v. Gentlemen of Kent, in 
the first innings he claimed 7 wickets for 10 runs 


each, and it was only the splendid aggressiveness of 
Lord Harris which made his analysis even half so 

Within a fortnight of the English victory at the 
Oval, where he had brought off such a sensational 
catch as has had few parallels, poor G. F. Grace 
was dead and W. G. stood by the grave of his favourite 
brother. The bereavement was felt by every sports- 
man in England. As Fred Gale truly wrote, nobody 
" ever heard a living creature say a word against him. 
He was an universal favourite." 

One of W. G.'s comrades not only in the first test 
match but on many other important occasions, 
himself a master of polished defence, A. P. Lucas, 
writes : 

" I sincerely trust that others may be more helpful 
than I can be, for though I much en joyed the many 
matches in which I took part with W. G., they present 
very few incidents that I am able to recall at this 
distance of time. Off the field at least, that is to say, 
away from cricket, I never saw anything of him. 
It was always a delight to me to watch him play 
because he made all bowling look so delightfully 
easy. Personally, in my experience, I only once 
saw a bowler tuck him up, and that was Edmund 
Peate on a peculiar wicket. 

I remember in the Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's 
in 1883, a new Yorkshire colt Harrison had been so 
destructive that he was selected for the professionals. 
We won the toss, and as W. G. and I were walking 
in to commence the innings, he said to me, ' What 
about this new fellow Harrison ? I have not come 
across him.' ' He is pretty fast/ I answered. ' Well, 
let me have a look at him/ was the answer, and having 
found out that he was going to bowl up-hill from 
the nursery end, W. G. elected to bat at the pavilion 
wicket. I never in all my life saw any one ever 
crumple up a bowler as he did poor Harrison. I 

DR. W. G. GRACE 149 

never received a single ball from him so long as my 
great colleague was in. He simply laid in wait for 
him, punished and snicked him, and I have always 
believed that that small score of 26 (Peate made him 
play on) broke Harrison's heart so far as bowling 
was concerned. 

Years before, in my first Gentlemen v. Players at 
the Oval in 1876, when Andrew Greenwood came in 
to bat, W. G., who was bowling, said to Lord Harris, 
who was on the leg side, ' Come in five yards/ He 
bowled the Yorkshireman three straight balls and 
then one to leg which came plump into the fieldsman's 
hands. In the second innings he went on when 
Greenwood had made 9, carefully put Webbe in 
the same spot and that safe field captured him easily 
first ball. That impressed me. Greenwood told 
me that in the only previous match at the Oval he 
had appeared for the Players exactly the same thing 
happened to him. 

Personally, when I batted against Grace, I never 
hit him to square leg, but always hooked his leg 
ball carefully and did not fall into his trap. He 
loved bowling, and I remember it was asserted that 
he once kept himself unchanged whilst two hundred 
runs were scored at Lord's, but I cannot recall what 
the match was. 

In a test match, the one which we lost in 1882 
at the Oval by 7 runs, Murdoch played a ball to leg, 
for which Alfred Lyttelton ran and W. G. from point 
went up to the wicket. S. P. Jones completed the 
first run and thinking the ball was dead, went out of 
his ground to pat the wicket. Grace whipped the 
bail off and Thorns gave Jones out. He was furious 
and so were several of his side, but one of the Austra- 
lians later on admitted he would have done the same 
thing if he had been where Grace was. ' The Old 
Buffer,' Fred Gale, shrewdly remarked that ' Jones 
ought to thank the champion for having taught him 


In those days, Esher cricket was great fun, and 
there was always a keen match at Chislehurst against 
West Kent, very strong in those days with Penns 
and Stokes by the batch. Once we were in the tent 
dressing, when Charlie Clarke put in his head and 
said to Alfred Penn : ' Hullo, can you bowl out W. G. 
to-day ? ' Thinking the champion was miles away, 
Penn retorted, laughing : ' Oh, I can always do that.' 
' Indeed,' came the comment from W. G. himself ; 
4 well, you'll have to try this morning,' and before 
lunch he had made the best part of ninety, mostly 
scored off this particular victim. 

I think my own first match with W. G. was Gentle- 
men of the South v. Players of the South when I was 
only eighteen. I remember his getting eleven wickets 
for about as many runs each and James Lillywhite 
bowling him for duck. When he had done so, he 
observed : ' That ought to win us the match.' But 
it did not, for we amateurs won with an innings and 
over a hundred runs to spare. Just because he did 
not come off in batting, Grace made up for it with 
the ball quite characteristic." 

So far as figures went, the batting of W. G. was 
almost on all-fours in 1881 with his run getting in the 
preceding season the average was a run less, the 
aggregate 34 smaller ; but he only took 57 wickets 
for 1 8 runs each. This year in the batting honours 
he was outstripped by A. N. Hornby, and it was with 
the Lancastrian captain that he actually put up 55 
runs hi half an hour against the Players at the Oval, 
hitting as brilliantly as his reckless partner, the 
bowlers punished at this terrific pace being Peate, 
Hill, Bates, Ulyett and Barlow. With Emmett and 
Midwinter also taking a turn with the ball, W. G. in 
less than two hours and a half scored precisely 100 in 
his best form, a fast low ball from Allen Hill taking 
his off-stump. In the second innings of the Players 
after Ulyett and Midwinter had put up the century 

DR. W. G. GRACE 151 

without loss, W. G. proved pertinaciously destruc- 
tive, claiming 7 for 61. Peate, at this period, was 
showing he was a slow left-handed bowler of tran- 
scendent ability and one of the recollections of the 
co-editor writing this chapter is of the way Grace 
drove him. To no other slow bowler did he seem to 
play quite so hard, terrific driving for Over Thirty 
v. Under Thirty for Farrands' benefit being a case 
in point. He always spoke of Peate as one of the 
most tricky bowlers he ever faced, and it seemed as 
though in revenge he put the bat more vigorously 
than usual against his balls. However, the York- 
shireman bowled him for the Players at Lord's : his 
score of 29 may seem modest, but it was the highest 
on the victorious side, and only Bates, who hit well, 
exceeded it in a capital contest on a difficult wicket. 
Apart from the foregoing, W. G. Grace's appear- 
ances in 1881 were confined to those for his county. 
With Midwinter and Woof to bowl, less demands were 
made on him with the ball, but he headed the Glou- 
cestershire batting with an average of 40. His 
greatest days were at Trent Bridge. Notts, handi- 
capped by a dispute with the leading professionals, 
played practically a substitute side, including, how- 
ever, two important new bowlers, Attewell and 
Walter Wright, and Grace took full measure of the 
attack. His first effort of 51 ought to have termin- 
ated early had a chance been accepted, but his 182 
was without fault after a bad miss in the slips when 
he had made 3. He did not go in until the telegraph 
showed 82 and left at 440, somewhat disconsolately 
on an adverse decision for obstruction. This was 
the highest score ever yet made in a county match 
on the ground and included seventeen fours. At 
Lord's he played an excellent 64, though his first 12 
were contributed whilst E. M. made 47, hitting five 
fours off Clarke with astounding vigour. This was 
followed by W. G.'s most successful turn with the ball 
in the season, namely 7 Middlesex wickets for 30 


runs, which proved the main factor in a Western 
success by 6 wickets. 

Turning to the home matches, all played during 
August, in the return with Middlesex selected for 
the benefit of Pullin, who had umpired for Glouces- 
tershire since the formation of the county club 
W. G. Grace batted brilliantly for 80 out of 102 while 
in, which included a huge drive for six. His contri- 
bution ended by his running himself out, to his own 
great vexation, almost the solitary occasion that he 
recollected doing so, though twice the victim that 
summer of being called for a run too short for his 
increasing weight. Against Surrey, he scored 34 
whilst E. M. was getting 10, a proportion he gleefully 
talked about at luncheon, and his bowling gave 
Gloucestershire a single innings victory (3 for 7 and 
5 for 58). In extra matches with Somersetshire, as 
usual, he was in lively mood. Taking advantage of 
A. H. Evans arriving late at Bath, he hit with 
almost reckless nonchalance for 80. In the return at 
Cheltenham, he took 4 wickets for only 15 runs and 
with E. M. actually put up 50 in the first twenty 

Playing with W. G. for many years, that admirable 
cricketer and captain J. Shuter has reminiscences 
covering a wide space of time which may here be 
interpolated. He writes : 

" One of my earliest introductions to Surrey 
county cricket coincided with my first meeting with 
W. G. Grace, and very memorable it was for one of 
us at any rate. The occasion in question was Surrey 
v. Gloucestershire, on the Clifton College Ground in 
1877, the home county winning easily by 10 wickets. 
W. G. did not make a large score, but that was not 
from any fault of my own as I missed him badly 
once. This was only one of five similar lapses on 
my part which made the match somewhat memorable 
for me [J. Shuter was a magnificent field with an 

DR. W. G. GRACE 153 

exceptionally sure pair of hands Editors],3Hid Pooley, 
noticing my uneasiness of mind, came to me and 
said : ' Nevermind, sir, they will follow you about/ 
W. G. himself sympathized with me, as he always 
did with a young cricketer, and I think I may say 
that my friendship with him commenced with this 
match and ended only with his death. 

During all the years of my association with him 
and in the very large majority of matches we were 
of course in opposition I cannot recall anything in 
the way of unpleasantness. That he was keen, 
extraordinarily keen, and knew every point of the 
game goes without saying. Yet he was always fair 
and ready to take a sporting view of any knotty 
point which arose. He was ever a most chivalrous 
opponent. One instance in particular I can recall 
which not only militated against him during the 
match, but incidentally was the cause of bringing to 
the fore a cricketer who was afterwards to make a 
great name for himself. The match was Surrey v.. 
Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in August, 1889. I 
was suffering from lumbago and it was doubtful if I 
was capable of playing, so W. G. at once suggested 
that I should, having lost the toss, go out to field and 
if I found it impossible to continue, I might have 
some one else to take my place. I found cricket 
quite out of the question and therefore wired for 
Brockwell, the player above referred to. He not 
only made 3 and 27, but in the second innings of 
Gloucestershire took 5 wickets for 24 runs, thus 
materially helping in Surrey's victory. 

Two other incidents on the same ground come 
into my mind. The first was in connection with the 
wicket and might have led to trouble but for W. G.'s 
tact. On arrival at the ground on the second day, 
it was found that the wicket on which Surrey had 
to bat was very wet at one end, although no rain had 
fallen overnight, and it was accounted for by the 
water on the wicket for the next match having run 1 


down the slope. After a slight protest and discus- 
sion, the matter was allowed to drop, and I was glad 
that no ill result followed when Surrey batted. The 
second episode was in August, 1880, when my brother 
L. A., who was then playing for Surrey , accepted a bet 
from G. F. Grace of 100 to i (i.e. 5 to is.) that the 
match would not be completed on that day. It was 
then lunch-time : Surrey still having a full innings 
to play. W. G. laughed at G. F., saying that it 
never was such odds at a cricket match, but as the 
bet had been laid and taken, W. G. proceeded as 
he well knew how to make things hum, and by 
taking seven Surrey wickets enabled Gloucestershire 
to win that evening by 10 wickets. Fifty-two runs 
were required in forty-five minutes, and these W. G. 
and Gilbert knocked off with twenty minutes to 
spare. As they went in to bat, E. M. , wrathful at not 
going in first, growled : ' There go the slowest pair of 
batsmen in England/ My brother was duly paid 
his bet by G. F. only a few days before the latter's 
death and he has the cheque in his scrap-book as a 
memento of the episode." 

Suspending the literary innings of J. Shuter for 
one paragraph, the recollections of S. H. Pardon of 
the same sensational finish must be interpolated : 

" No thought of defeat troubled the Surrey bats- 
men at luncheon on the last day. Walter Read, for 
one, was entirely free from apprehension. He had 
made 93 on the first day and was supremely confi- 
dent. Before Surrey's second innings began, Henry 
Grace never a great cricketer himself, but a first- 
rate judge took W. G. and Midwinter into the 
refreshment tent and gave each of them a pint of 
champagne. He had a theory that when bowlers 
Avere called upon for a sudden effort with no time to 
lose, champagne was a matchless" stimulant. On this 
iateful afternoon his theory did not play him false. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 155 

Disasters for Surrey came thick and fast. I can 
see Dick Humphrey now, gazing with amazement at 
W. G., who caught and bowled him more than half- 
way up the pitch. When half the wickets had fallen, 
Henry Grace renewed the strength of his bowlers 
with another cheering drink, and, with Midwinter 
going off just before the close of the innings, W. G. 
claimed seven wickets. E. M. had reason to regret 
his hasty growl at the ability of his brother and 
cousin to hit off runs against time, and, when it was 
all over, old Mrs. Grace wanted to have something to 
say to Walter Read about his lunch-time confidence 
but that is another story." 

Now J. Shuter can be allowed to continue, as 
follows : 

" There was one point particularly in the game in 
which W. G. Grace excelled and which to my mind 
has never been made enough of, namely his extra- 
ordinary fielding to his own bowling. In this he had 
few equals and certainly no superiors. His slow 
bowling was very tempting to those batsmen who 
were quick on their feet and prone to jump in to 
drive, but nothing was too hard for him to stop and 
no catch too difficult. Personally I often suffered at 
his hands in this respect. 

I had many pleasant experiences when playing on 
the same side with the Old Man, my happiest being 
when the Gentlemen of England opposed the Austra- 
lians at the end of May, 1888. tip to this point 
Turner and Ferris had been carrying everything 
before them with the result that this match was 
looked forward to with much interest. After getting 
rid of the Australians for 179, we made 490, W. G. 
and I putting up 158 for the first wicket. We ran 
neck and neck until I played on for 71, after which 
W. G. took his score to 165, and a great innings it was. 
Owing to the third day of the match being Derby 
Day, the play was limited to two and the game in 


consequence drawn. Later on in the same season, 
W. G. and I batted first for England v. Australia at the 
Oval, when Turner sent us both back for i and 28 
respectively. England won easily by an innings. 

The match M.C.C. v. Australia at Lord's in 1890 
furnishes another pleasant memory. M.C.C. re- 
quired in to win in 85 minutes and obtained them 
with seven wickets to spare and a quarter of an hour. 
W. G. asked me to go in first with him, and by 
scoring 32 in the first quarter of an hour of which his 
share was 29 we gave the side a good start and 
helped the result. The means taken to obtain this 
was always a source of gratification to W. G. and he 
never failed to recall the incident on any suitable 

Another episode occurs to me as showing his keen- 
ness for the proprieties of the game. The match 
was Surrey v. Gloucestershire in the early eighties, 
when C. E. Horner was in his prime as a bowler. He 
was batting and having injured himself, Diver came 
out to run for him. The former was not particularly 
quick between the wickets, whereas the latter was 
remarkably smart in this respect, with the result that 
many short runs were stolen. This rather exasper- 
ated W. G., who called out : ' Charlie, this ain't 
right. If it continues, I shall have to ask Diver to 
put on some pads/ When, later on, Diver on his 
own initiative came out wearing pads, W. G. was 
much upset and assured Horner that his remarks 
were not seriously meant. 

Of late years, W. G. played a lot of local cricket 
in the Eltham and Blackheath neighbourhood, and 
his presence was always a sure draw. Of course 
with his increasing years and heavy weight, he be- 
came very slow between the wickets, but his batting 
was as sound as ever. It was a great delight to him 
to have an occasional turn with the ball, and only a 
few seasons ago against a Philadelphian team, at the 
Rectory Field, Blackheath, I saw him take seven 

DR. W. G. GRACE 157 

wickets in double quick time at a very small cost, 
completely mystifying his opponents just as he was 
wont to do in his prime. He was a great favourite 
with the local spectators and the regrets when his 
wicket fell were as pronounced as ever. The last 
occasion on which I met him was at a shooting party 
in the autumn of 1914, and needless to say his keen- 
ness with the gun was no whit behind his keenness 
for bat and ball. He was in great form all day and 
lunch time was an opportunity for talking over old 
days and recounting past incidents. 

I must add one anecdote as showing the great 
interest his appearance excited even amongst those 
not expected to have any special reverence for the 
G.O.M. of cricket. I was at a local golf club when 
Braid and Vardon were playing an exhibition match 
.and W. G. was among the spectators. A friend of 
mine, who is better known in the astronomical 
world, was also present, and at the end of the day 
I asked him how he had enjoyed the golf. His reply 
rather staggered me, being altogether unprepared for 
such views from a man of his attainments : ' Oh, the 
golf was good enough, but what I enjoyed most was 
watching W. G. Grace. I had often heard of him 
and read of his doings when I was a boy, but until 
io-day I had never seen him. I can truthfully say it 
has been a great treat, and I am not at all astonished 
at the reverence in which he is held by the cricket- 
loving public.' It was a notable and unasked-for 
tribute to a great personality, and it has always been 
indelibly impressed on my memory." 

1882, favoured by good weather, proved a momen- 
tous one in cricket and a year of run-getting. For 
W. G. Grace it was not, however, so successful as 
usual ; for instance, it was the first in which he did not 
score a century, but the reason unknown to the 
public was that he had been much pulled down by 
-an attack of mumps. Although he was not credited 


with a thousand runs, he captured a hundred and 
one wickets. On no less than three occasions he 
was dismissed without scoring and in twelve other 
in tances for a single figure, so the croakers began 
ansther wholly premature pronouncement that he 
was virtually on the shelf. 

This was the season when the finest of all the 
Australian touring teams came to this country and 
W. G. was frequently engaged against them. The 
earliest occasion was for the Orleans Club at Twicken- 
ham, when 28 out of his 34 was made in fours, Palmer 
and Garrett being the redoubtable bowlers. The 
Coolonals also were puzzled by his deliveries which 
accounted for McDonnell, S. P. Jones, Garrett, Palmer 
and Boyle at a cost of only 27 runs. The Gentlemen 
at the Oval were wretchedly weak in bowling, and 
against an Australian total of 334, Grace, put on far 
too late, claimed 4 wickets for 45. The amateur 
exhibition with the bat was for the most part deplor- 
able, but he redeemed it by two beautiful efforts for 
61 and 32 " characteristic of his best days." 

The M.C.C. and Ground side was virtually an 
England eleven, and W. G. began with a perfectly 
admirable 46, the way in which he placed Spofforth, 
despite the vigilant captaincy of Murdoch, being 
beyond praise. But " the Demon " had his revenge 
by spread-eagling his stumps. At Clifton, in his 77 
he " played in a form worthy of his great repute," 
and once more it seemed as if the puzzling deliveries 
of Palmer were particularly to his taste. But Percy 
McDonnell laid on to his bowling with exceptional 
severity, and then Horan amassed his largest 
score on the tour. The return on the same ground 
was played on a wet wicket. W. G. bowled almost 
through the match, getting the bulk of the wickets, 
8 for 93 and 4 (out of six captured) for 59 ; but Massie 
hit him at a terrific pace and so did Bonnor, who 
sent one straight drive off him out of the ground 
for six. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 159 

Several allusions have been made in reminiscences 
embodied in this volume to the disastrous test match 
at the Oval when England was defeated by 7 runs. 
The game was one over which veterans still wax 
warm in disputation. The part played by W. G. 
Grace was at least the most excellent on the home 
side, for when 85 was wanted to win he batted bril- 
liantly for 32, top score and worth many an ordinary 
century, so that when he left, caught by Banner- 
man off Boyle, only 34 runs were needed with 7 
wickets to fall. The rest is history. But it ought 
not to be forgotten that at the start Grace caught 
Bannerman splendidly at point, left hand, low 1 down, 
off Peate, when the stonewaller had been in sixty-five 
minutes for 9 runs, that he took Blackham off a skier 
and that his hands also accounted for Horan and 
Giffen as well as for the running out of S. P. 
Jones about which there was such a fuss. Had all 
the side accomplished as much as W. G., the Aus- 
tralians might not have achieved their wonderful 

Doing little noteworthy in Gentlemen v. Players, 
or in the Whit-Monday match, it was in county 
cricket that W. G. achieved most, though a serious 
decline could be discerned in the fortunes of Glouces- 
tershire. At the Oval he showed excellent form for 
55 and against Yorkshire an admirable 56 out of 103 
from the bat was a courageous effort to pull off a 
victory, but the remarkable way in which Lord 
Hawke handled the bowling at his command enabled 
the Northerners to win by 29 runs. 

In home engagements, his 86 v. Lancashire was the 
second highest and perhaps the finest display W. G. 
Grace gave that season. Against Yorkshire the 
two brothers put up 73 for the first wicket within the 
hour, an excellent start which led up to a single inn- 
ings' victory. A capital 55 against Notts was the 
highest score in a drawn match. But it was in the 
final engagement with Surrey that he once more 


showed his best form in every department. Apart 
from W. W. Read and Maurice Read, the visitors 
could only make 32 and W. G. had 7 for only 44. 
Then, in the freest fashion, he punished the attack 
to all parts of the field, getting 88 very rapidly. 
Again when Gloucestershire were set 132 to win, he 
played with commanding power for 51, which was 
vitally conducive to the success by 6 wickets. In 
the only game with Somersetshire, he settled the 
result before luncheon on the first day by taking 8 
wickets for 31 runs, only W. H. Fowler being able to 
hit him, that big slogger making 39 out of 61 from 
the bat. 

That once excellent bat and superb field at point 
T. S. Pearson- Gregory relates a characteristic inci- 
dent. " I should like to mention one thing which 
W. G. did that shows his good feeling towards cricket. 
I could not see when the ball left his hand when I 
was batting against him and told him so. He said : 
' You are coming down to Clifton to play against us, 
and if you will come on the evening before I will bowl 
to you for half an hour.' I asked : ' Do you really 
mean it ? ' He replied : ' Yes/ was as good as his 
word, and I may add I had no difficulty in batting 
against him afterwards. Very few cricketers, bowlers 
especially, would have done that. No one ever heard 
him say a word against any cricketer, and, if he had 
faults, they were due to his keenness for the game 
and for his side." 

In a thoughtful criticism the editor of that crick- 
eters' Bible Wisden W. G.'s own set were well 
thumbed by him in the winter, being almost the only 
books he paid much attention to S. H. Pardon 
writes : 

" It was my good fortune in my young days on the 
cricket press to attend many Gloucestershire matches 
at Clifton and Cheltenham. Though the play could 
not possibly have been more strict, there was some- 

The finish of his pull-drive 

(From an action photograph by G. W. Beldam.) 

DR. W. G. GRACE 161 

thing of the atmosphere of club cricket about the 
whole business. The press tent at each ground was 
a special meeting place, newspaper work in those far- 
off times being done in a leisurely way one did not, 
as in later days, have to telegraph the score every 
half hour. W. G. used to come into the tent at times 
and so I came to know him better than in London. 

Nothing like the Gloucestershire team of the 
middle seventies has ever been seen in the cricket 
field. The eleven seemed literally a family party. 
Roughly speaking, the players were of much the same 
social position and were united by strong ties of 
personal friendship. Until the introduction of Mid- 
winter in 1877, the county side was all of one class. 
The spirit of boundless confidence that inspired that 
eleven was not to be wondered at. Gloucestershire 
began to play serious cricket in 1870, and not until 
Sporforth's bowling broke the charm in 1878 was a 
home match lost. Such a record over such a space 
of time can surely never have been approached. I 
think the fact of being on the same side with W. G. 
and his brothers made the other men play twenty per 
cent, above their ordinary form, but the standard of 
the club cricket in and around Bristol, from which 
they were recruited, must have been extremely high. 
Otherwise the county could not at the start of its 
existence have secured such an array of batsmen and 

I do not think the fact has ever been sufficiently 
insisted on that though W. G. did many great things 
against the Australians, he was past his best before 
he met them in this country. By reason of his great 
weight he was never quite the man he had been in his 
young days. The burden of the flesh was a sad 
handicap to him. I have always believed that but 
for the sensational success of the Australians, he 
would have gradually dropped out of first-class 
matches after taking his degree at Edinburgh. The 
challenge to English cricket revived his ambition. 


There was something more to be done and, as things 
turned out, he enjoyed an Indian summer of unex- 
ampled brightness. 

Ample and generous as were the tributes paid to 
W. G. in the newspapers all over the country after his 
death, something less than justice was done to his 
bowling. It seemed to be forgotten that it was for 
bowling rather than batting he was first selected 
for the Gentlemen, as can be proved by the score 
sheets. In the Oval match of 1865, he was eighth 
in the order of batting. This led to complaints, and 
so at Lord's, a week later, he was sent in first with 
. E. M. Though his bowling in those far-off days was 
a good deal faster than later on, I should fancy that 
even then he had the break from leg that helped him 
so much when he became distinctively slow. In his 
early style he never bowled better than in 1867. 
He took 8 wickets for England v. Middlesex, 
ii for the Gentlemen, and in Tom Lockyer's bene- 
fit match, he divided honours with Tom Emmett, 
then at his freshest and fastest. I never in later 
days saw him bowl so much in the old way as when 
the Gentlemen beat the first Australian team at 
Prince's in 1878. It was a nasty, soft wicket and 
he had to be economical of runs. Whether as a 
medium pace or slow bowler, W. G. possessed the 
sovereign merit of good length. He bowled no 

Personally he struck me as the most natural of 
men. Fame and popularity were never more lightly 
borne than by him. At a time when he would have 
been more readily recognized in Regent Street than 
any other Englishman, he was utterly free from 
pose or affectation of any kind. Whenever and 
wherever one saw him he was always the same. 
Seeing him play cricket first when I was a boy of ten, 
I could never regard him from any point of view 
except from that of the hero worshipper. Right 
through his career until his last innings at the Oval 

DR. W. G. GRACE 163 

was played, I could never lose the thrill of delight 
when he made a hundred or the feeling of keen dis- 
appointment when he failed." 

C. W. Burls, the old Surrey amateur, complains 
that though he knew W. G. so well, nearly all the 
things he would have liked to relate have been told 
by others. 

" What I can, however, add was the opinion 
expressed as far back as 1882 by W. L. Murdoch of 
W. G. Grace and note the date because it was before 
their subsequent close friendship had developed 
from mere acquaintance. Said the grandest of 
all Australian bats and Murdoch never had a 
superior, not even Trumper ' What do I think of 
W. G. ? Why, that I have never seen his like and 
never shall. I tell you my opinion, which is that 
W. G. should never be put underground. When he 
dies, his body ought to be embalmed and permanently 
exhibited in the British Museum as " the colossal 
cricketer of all time." 

That was in answer to a question from me. Here 
is the reply to another question, one that I put to 
Grace himself : Had he ever been nervous ? He said, 
' Yes, once, when I was a medical student. My boss 
surgeon at Bart's, who hardly knew a bat from a ball, 
told me he would particularly like to see me play, 
So I said, " On Thursday if I win the toss at the Oval. 
I shall go in first," and he replied that he'd be there. 
Well, I won the toss and he had turned up to see me 
make runs. It was the first time since a boy I had 
played before a master, and having to do so absurdly 
bothered me. I felt altogether queer, went in shak- 
ing like a leaf and was out for some five or six. He 
never came to watch me again and I was jolly glad/ 

He and E. M. could quarrel on occasion. I was 
once batting for Surrey v. Gloucestershire. W. G. 
was bowling and E. M. at point came creeping in 


until he looked as if he could make a grab at my bat. 
Well, I just turned a ball and he was literally right 
on to me : ' How's that for obstructing the field ? ' he 
sang out. ' Obstruction be blowed/ bellowed W. G. ; 
' why did you not catch the ball instead of trying to 
bamboozle the umpire ? ' 

I am not sure whether this was the match in which 
some of us declared when we were batting that the 
ground was unfit for play, to which W. G. retorted : 
' I don't care what you say. If any of your men are 
more than two minutes coming in, I shall claim the 
game.' That was the occasion when nearly all the 
Gloucestershire eleven was fielding in mackintoshes. 

W. G. was extremely fond of a bit of shooting and 
also of a quiet practical joke. He combined both 
once at Scarborough. On the evening of one August 
31, he expatiated to the late Lord Londesborough 
how fond he was of going out with a gun. So that 
kindest of hosts said : ' Perhaps you and one or two 
more would like to get up early and have a go at the 
birds ? ' George Vernon, Candy and I all promised 
to keep him company. There was a ball that night 
and no one went to bed until half-past four. At 
seven a.m. W. G. was ready, having had a soda and 
brandy with a raw herring for his breakfast, but 
George Vernon was absent from parade. We drove 
four miles, began to shoot, drove four more, shot 
again and drove yet another four back to the ground 
and were on the field sharp at noon. Our bag was 
seventy brace, twenty rabbits, and a pheasant which 
got up as young ones sometimes do in a covey and I 
brought it down before I noticed. Mind you ; W. G. 
had done the largest share, and when our host con- 
gratulated him, he replied : ' I hope to get more 
runs to-day than I have birds,' but I forget if he did. 

What I do not forget is the sequel. At lunch I 
was next J. L. Toole and suddenly behind me I 
found a policeman holding a pheasant, and the fellow 
began : ' Sorry to trouble you, sir, but it's a grave 

DR. W. G. GRACE 165 

case.' ' As long as it is not a high one,' ejaculated 
Toole in his usual way. But the constable was not 
to be put off and I felt no end of a fool. However, 
eventually Lord Londesborough induced him to go 
away, and as he departed, W. G. emitted a truly 
Titanic guffaw. He had bribed the man to pretend 
to want to run me in. And, as usual, the cream of 
Grace's few practical jokes lay in the fact that no 
victim was ever able to get even with him." 

Mature Proficiency 


WG. GRACE in 1883 had reached his thirty- 
^ fifth year and his nineteenth season in first- 
class cricket. Practically, save for half a dozen 
exceptions, he was now playing with men many of 
whom had been running about as children when he 
was already representing the Gentlemen. Yet in a 
couple of seasons more he was destined to attain his 
second zenith and to amaze the later Victorian public 
as much as he had delighted their fathers in his own 
youth. 1883 saw him holding his own with the best ; 
now and again seeing in print that his " days of 
phenomenal scoring were over." On such remarks 
he never commented : but he had in his bag prowess 
as great as he had ever displayed, his increasing lack 
of agility being counterbalanced by the marked 
improvement in the wickets. Patience under prema- 
turely adverse criticism was a characteristic of his 
which did not receive adequate contemporaneous 
appreciation . 

Still it is only true to state that he was more of a 
veteran in 1883 than in many subsequent seasons. 
" Though not quite so reliable as a few years ago, he 
still has no superior." His aggregate of 1,352 fell 
short only of those of W. W. Read and, Ulyett, his 


DR. W. G. GRACE 167 

average only less than those of the Surrey " crack " 
and C. T. Studd. Five professionals Barlow, Harri- 
son, Flowers, Barratt and Peate with C. T. Studd 
captured 100 wickets. Grace claimed 94, but at a 
vastly increased cost, 22 runs being his average the 
worst he ever had with the ball until 1889. In the field 
the ground began to seem a long way from his hands. 

This year, for the first time since 1878, he played 
first-class cricket throughout May; indeed in the 
opening match at Lord's, for M.C.C. and Ground v. 
Sussex, his bowling 5 for 51 and 6 for 38 gave the 
Club an easy victory by 9 wickets. In North v. 
South, " the most noteworthy bit of cricket was 
the magnificent catch by Dr. Grace which disposed 
of Wild." Of that catch a critic remarks : " The ball 
was driven back hard, but he sprang up and took it 
most brilliantly with his left hand. Nothing in the 
day's cricket provoked louder cheering." He himself 
was sixth out at 96, having made 64, an innings of a 
splendid character, including a drive off Bates on to 
the top of the enclosure. On the same ground for 
his county against the metropolitan one, he did 
heroic work, 5 for 64 and 7 for 92 with 89, finely 
played until he grew careless after making 80, and 
35 : all-round play rather disappointingly on the los- 
ing side. A professional engagement kept him from 
representing the Gentlemen at the Oval for the first 
time since 1867 : the game terminated in a tie. In 
Pooley's benefit, though Barlow twice dismissed him 
for a single figure, he claimed 4 wickets for but 26 
runs. He also began his association with Lord 
Sheffield by taking a weak scratch side to Sheffield 
Park. There was no fault to be found with the sound 
freedom of both his own contributions, 81 and 51. 

The rest of his doings were concerned with Glouces- 
tershire. Only a victory over Lancashire rewarded 
the efforts of a side lacking in efficacious bowling 
and weakened by the return of Midwinter to Aus- 
tralia. That victory was due, mainly, to W. G. 


Grace getting his first century for a couple of seasons. 
His stand with the left-hander J. Cranston yielded 
126 and he was batting for three hours for 112, 
marred only by a chance just prior to his dismissal. 
Playing for the most part consistently, perhaps his 
other most important achievement was an excep- 
tionally cautious 36, after Middlesex had scored 537, 
leading up to an invaluable 85 compiled with con- 
spicuous care and judgment which materially helped 
to save the game, the last pair, Fairbanks and 
Page, keeping their wickets intact for the final ten 

Few professionals, alike as player and umpire, 
over a long series of seasons' watched W. G. Grace 
more critically than that arch-stonewaller, fine field 
at point and clever bowler Barlow, who writes : 

" W. G. was the King of cricket and the champion 
of champions and we shall never see his like on the 
field again. I have played with him and against 
him and seen him play some remarkable innings, 
especially on bad sticky wickets when the ball was 
breaking about. I place poor Arthur Shrewsbury 
and Dr. W. G. well before all others on this kind of 
wicket. They always played at the ball and not at 
the pitch, as many batsmen do, and they never played 
forward unless they could get well to the ball before 
the break got on. For timing and placing the ball 
between the men in the field, I have never seen any 
player like Dr. W. G. Grace. He made fewer mis- 
hits than any other batsman I ever saw. 

In his prime he was a very fine and difficult bowler 
to play and was a good head bowler, always having a 
beautiful length. To the onlooker his bowling ap- 
peared simple, but he had the batsman in the flight 
as the striker was often in two minds. Of course his 
great height helped him very much. 

No bowler ever seemed very difficult to the cham- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 169 

pion and Alfred Shaw probably caused him most 
anxiety. At the same time, I have captured the 
champion's wicket nearly as often and quite as 
cheaply as any bowler he met, twenty times in 
all and thirteen of these clean bowled, whilst five 
times I caught him at point. In the first three 
matches I ever played against him, I took his wicket 
three tunes in five overs. For the Players v. Gentle- 
men at the Oval in 1884, I accomplished the hat 
trick, my victims being W. G. Grace, W. W. Read 
and J. Shuter. I remember in 1887, our old captain 
Mr. Hornby telling Dr. W. G., that he had brought his 
master. ' Yes, I know who you mean, but I'll watch 
him this match.' It came off all right for Lanca- 
shire, because I bowled him again for 23. Between 
1865 and 1896, Alfred Shaw bowled Dr. W. G. 
twenty times, I, as above, thirteen, Morley eleven, 
Allen Hill and Emmett ten times each, Peate nine 
and Southerton eight. 

In the early eighties, when Tom Emmett was 
bowling to Dr. W. G. the champion in one over hit 
him for four fours off good-length balls. Tom came 
over to me at mid-off (it was Players v. Gentlemen) 
and said : ' Dickie, I wish that long-shanks was out. 
He's a regular devil : the better I place 'em the better 
he paces 'em.' 

At times Dr. W. G. had a partiality for remaining 
at the wicket after being given out. Pooley, the old 
Surrey wicket-keeper, being umpire at the bowler's 
end, gave him out, l.b.w. Not being Satisfied Dr. 
W. G. ran to the umpire, saying : ' Which leg did it 
hit, Pooley, which leg did it hit ? ' Pooley replied : 
' Never mind which leg it hit ; I've given you out and 
out you've got to go.' 

Another case was in Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at 
Bristol, at which I was umpiring. Mr. F. S. Jackson 
was bowling to Dr. W. G. and appealed for l.b.w. and 
to me it appeared a very clear thing, so up went my 
hand. Dr. W. G. however remained at the wicket 


and called out, ' Barlow, I played the ball.' I 
replied, ' Yes, I know that, Doctor, but it was after it 
hit your leg/ Of course he had to depart. 

To show what the attractiveness of Dr. Grace 
was, the first time Gloucestershire played Lancashire 
at Manchester, there was a record gate, over twenty 
thousand on the Saturday, and the people swarmed 
over the ground, so that the game had to be stopped. 
They were eventually cleared off and play resumed : 
of course they had not come to see any one but 
1 W. G.' 

In the late eighties when the English team should 
have played the Australians at Old Trafford, the 
weather was very bad and no play possible on any of 
the three days. Dr. W. G. made the remark : ' If 
there's any fielding to be done here, the light-weights 
will have to do it. A heavy man like me would be 
in danger of getting stuck.' 

The champion on one occasion played in a day's 
match at Bedminster near his home. Overnight his 
brother E. M. and he walked over to see what sort of 
a pitch they would have to play on. Dr. W. G. said 
it looked anything but good, so they thought they 
would give it a little more rolling. However, the 
roller was out of order and they could not move it, 
so the two Graces agreed to be on the ground early 
next morning and give the pitch a few hours' tramp- 
ling with their big feet, for as they were both heavy- 
weights they thought this would have some effect. 
As the ground was on the soft side, the few hours' 
trampling made the pitch play fairly well. We had 
a good laugh over this I might add. 

Once, during Lancashire v. Gloucestershire at Old 
Trafford, the champion was seen in conversation with 
Johnny Briggs between the wickets. Some one was 
heard to ask, ' Who is the big man ? ' And on 
receiving the answer : ' That's Grace,' then put the 
question, ' And is the other Grace's baby ? ' Briggs, 
for some time after, was referred to by this amusing 

DR. W. G. GRACE 171 

cognomen. Grace stood six feet two and a half 
inches and was bulky in proportion, while Briggs' 
height was only five feet four." 

Of all the anecdotes about W. G. Grace, this at one 
time was the best known and therefore it is suitable 
it should be given in this volume by Briggs' yet more 
famous colleague. One curiosity is that in the multi- 
tudinous communications so generously forwarded 
for the present issue, no one else contributed the 
anecdote. Probably because each thought it too 
familiar, it incurred the danger of not being recorded 
for future generations. 

1884 was a big year for W. G. Grace in batting 
achievements, yet his figures were practically identi- 
cal with those of the preceding summer. This was 
due to the fact that, apart from superb displays in 
the greatest encounters, twenty of his double-figure 
contributions were under 35, nor did he begin at the 
top of his form, for his first seven visits to the wicket 
only yielded seventy runs. 

The Australians enjoyed one of their most success- 
ful tours, but they came in contact with some fine 
run-getting from W. G. Grace. Their dark-horse was 
a slow bowler hitherto unseen in England, W. H. 
Cooper, and for the first three matches he did not take 
the field, being reserved for the encounter with M.C.C. 
and Ground at Lord's. Everybody was eager to see 
what he would do, but never will the present writer 
forget how W. G. pulverized him. Before luncheon 
the bowling of the new-comer was virtually finished 
with and in the whole tour he only took 7 wickets for 
46 runs each, a failure always ascribed to the power- 
ful manner in which Grace made light of his efforts. 
The champion's 101 out of 199 while in was splendidly 
forceful, and again he showed a marked preference for 
the bowling of Palmer, who, however, claimed his 
wicket for obstruction. Grace followed this up by 
being the most successful bowler in the match, 


obtaining 7 wickets for 79 and obviously puzzling 
our visitors. 

For the Gentlemen of England against the Austra- 
lians, Grace's batting, following Stanley Christo- 
pherson's effective bowling, gave the amateurs an 
equality on first hands which they could not preserve. 
W. G. was in rare vein. He had made 46 out of 85 
on the first day and was altogether responsible for a 
model 107 out of 222 while he was in. In the 
second innings he began with a free 30 towards the 
188 the Gentlemen could not make. A feature of the 
game was the way in which Midwinter, rather a slow 
bat as a rule, laid on to the deliveries of his former 

The first test match at Manchester was spoilt by 
rain, but Grace showed marked skill and judgment 
in his 31, the highest contribution in England's second 
innings. Heavy run-getting caused the encounter at 
Clifton between Gloucestershire and the Australians 
to be drawn. Winning the toss, for some reason 
W. G. did not go in until the score was 84 for two 
wickets, after which he carried out his bat for 116, 
his third century against our visitors. " It was 
quite worthy of his best days," and in the second 
effort he was again not out with 27 to his credit. In 
their final match at the Oval against the South, the 
Australians, with only a total of 163, won by an 
innings. No one except W. G. Grace could look at 
Spofforth, Boyle and Palmer, but in each innings he 
was top scorer with 24 and 26, thus making 50 whilst 
the other ten in their two efforts only aggregated 95. 
The Australians professed themselves immensely 
impressed by the batting he had shown them in their 
remarkable tour. 

An amusing incident happened at Sheffield Park 
at the opening of the Colonial tour. W. G. called 
for a gauge to test the bat of Percy McDonnell, which 
was found a trifle too wide. It was then suggested 
that the champion's bats should be tested, and there 

DR. W. G. GRACE 173 

was much laughter when the very first one could not 
pass muster. 

In Gentlemen v. Players, he was once more promi- 
nent, games in which he invariably relished his own 
success. The Gentlemen began batting after six on 
the first evening stumps in those days were drawn 
at seven except in matches with the Australians, who 
insisted on an earlier adjournment in order to ensure 
more cricket on the third day, a gate money point of 
view and W. G. was bowled by Barlow for 21 out of 
38. In a splendidly contested game, the amateurs 
were set 204 on a wicket not wearing well, but a 
partnership of 137 between W. G. and A. G. Steel 
ensured their success. Flowers bowled Grace at 
179 for an 89 composed in his very best form, which 
elicited particularly appreciative applause at its 
close. At the Oval, he did not go in until fourth 
wicket down, but though not out 35, he was fre- 
quently in difficulties and missed badly. He showed 
cricket of a. very different colour on second hands, 
scoring 48 with remarkable freedom while A. P. Lucas 
made 8, Barnes, Barlow, Briggs, Ulyett and Peate 
being all put on in rapid succession, and when Ulyett 
sent him back with a wonderful running catch in the 
long field, his vigorously hit 66 included no less than 
eleven fours and was by far the largest innings irt 
either effort of the eleven. 

Gloucestershire again had a disastrous season, a 
solitary success over Lancashire having to be set 
against nine defeats, but W. G. Grace easily headed 
the batting averages. Suffering from a bad hand, 
nevertheless his 56 not out v. Sussex at Gloucester 
was pronounced masterly. In making 66 v. Surrey, 
his partnership with J. H. Brain yielded 118. But 
his best county effort was at Lord's v. Middlesex 
when he put the other side in and lost the match. 
He was missed at long-on when he had made 44, and 
when his score reached 62 he strained the muscles 
of the calf of his right leg, so that his brother had to- 


run for him, but this in no measure lowered the stan- 
dard of his play and his 94 was admirable. He was 
bowled by a lob from I. D. Walker, who obtained ten 
Gloucestershire wickets with those apparently inno- 
cuous deliveries. 

In the early eighties the Studds were almost as 
notable as the Graces in the seventies and there is 
much interest in the following observations by C. T. 
Studd : 

" Every one who bowled against W. G. knew that 
he had not to bowl a good ball every time, but to 
bowl his best ball or look silly. Grace was a great 
man to have on your side, such a full-blooded opti- 
mist. No batsman was ever so well set but W. G. 
thought he could get him out. There were times 
when it seemed hopeless to think of removing a bats- 
man or prevent his fierce hitting : those times never 
came to W. G. Old W. G.'s bowling looked very 
potty stuff from the pavilion, but he was a much 
"better bowler than he was generally supposed to be. 
He was always so cocksure he could get you out that 
you had to strengthen your own opinion that he 
wouldn't or couldn't or else be sort of hypnotized and 
diddled out. I don't fancy many people saw him 
miss a catch, but then a ball could hardly miss his 
pair of hands and looked a pea in a top-hat when it 
got inside. 

Decidedly he was not a bit of poetry, but was 
real John Bull prose, with a style of his own, which 
nobody ever came near without making himself look a 
fool. It was in a Gentlemen v. Players match at Lord's, 
the wicket was tricky and wet, Fred Morley was at 
his best and ' making her talk Chinese,' one ball 
would come bump shoulder high and the very next 
shoot. Old W. G. played a whole over of Fred's 
shooters and when the umpire called ' over,' the 
whole pavilion rose and cheered, as though he had 
scored a century. W. G.'s prose made Fred's poetry 

DR. W. G. GRACE 175 

look piffle, but those four balls might have meant four 
wickets had Grace not been there and at that end. 
By the way, his eye was about the finest you ever 
saw. It was worth going a long journey just to look 
into it, or I should say them. I shall always preserve 
.a very great and lasting admiration for the Old Man." 

A noble revival marked the cricket of W. G. Grace 
in 1885, his best year since 1877. Once again he was 
-credited with both a thousand runs and a hundred 
wickets. Though in batting behind Shrewsbury and 
W. W. Read, yet to an aggregate of 1,688 with an 
average of 43 could be added 117 wickets for 18 runs 
apiece, so that in his twenty-first season he was still 
the best all-round cricketer in England. Four cen- 
turies he compiled, including one over two hundred 
his first for eight seasons. Oddly enough he failed to 
score four times and had nine single-figure contribu- 
tions, but all the rest proved admirable. The tribute 
in Lilly white read : " For twenty- one years Mr. Grace 
has stood alone as the best all-round cricketer, and 
even now there is no one to rank as his superior. It is 
eminently satisfactory to all who know his unbounded 
enthusiasm for the game, of which he has been such a 
magnificent exponent, to find that he is still, after 
nearly a quarter of a century's hard work, the noblest 
Roman of them all." 

He opened and closed his summer with games 
against Shaw's Australian team. At Sheffield Park 
he " made some superb hits " off Peel, Bates and 
Flowers in his 39 not out. At Harrogate, in a drawn 
game where everybody else seemed dully defensive, 
he gave a fine display of brilliant hitting, scoring 51 
out of the first 53, making two splendid drives out of 
the ground for six as well as six fours. His judg- 
ment in not giving Peate a turn with the ball until 
127 was scored was the more criticized as the York- 
shireman then took 6 wickets for 17 runs. 

As so often happened, W. G. showed some of his 


best at Lord's. The Whitsuntide match was for the 
benefit of Morley's family, and in a rain-spoilt match 
Grace made 28 in half an hour and then took 5 wickets 
for 25, followed by 4 for 48, though A. N. Hornby and 
Lord Hawke hit some spanking boundaries off his 
deliveries. For M.C.C. and Ground v. Notts, he 
accomplished one of the greatest successes attached 
to his name. True his 63 was slow and marred by 
several chances, but he actually claimed 16 wickets 
for 60 runs (7 for 40 and 9 for 20) against the 
powerful batting of the Midlanders, and he bowled 
right through both innings. For Gloucestershire v. 
Middlesex he compiled 69 in his best style, then took 
4 wickets for 49, and when 178 was needed to win on a 
really difficult pitch a big task at Lord's he scored 

54 out of 102 in resolute fashion, eventually the runs 
being knocked off for the loss of only two wickets. 
For M.C.C. and Ground v. Lancashire he was twice 
given out l.b.w. in the same match, the bowlers being 
Briggs and Watson. For the benefit match of the 
latter, W. G. made the highest score, 69, for the 
South, in one over getting ten, and showing better 
form than usual at Old Trafford. 

His batting for Gloucestershire was the great 
feature of that county's improved season seven 
defeats were nearly balanced by six successes and 
one favourable draw. Surrey was twice beaten and 
each time W. G. had a hand in the success. At the 
Oval he knocked the bowling of Lohmann, Beaumont, 
C. E. Homer and W. E. Roller all over the field, his 

55 being particularly free and his 4 wickets for 29 
just turned the match, a close one gained by 2 
wickets. In the return, on a pitch that in the course 
of his innings underwent all sorts of variations owing 
to weather, he did not make even a bad stroke in 104 
out of 179 when he was caught at point, having been 
at the wicket two hours and fifty minutes. Finally, 
in twenty-five minutes he and J. H. Brain knocked 
off the necessary 38. 


The original is in the Pavilion at Lords. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 177 

Allusion will be noticed in the recollections of 
P. J. de Paravicini to the fact that Grace was up all 
night with a maternity case midway in his grand score 
of 221 not out v. Middlesex, after which he bowled 
63 overs for n wickets. He had begun with 
nnwonted care, taking two hours and three-quarters 
to score 63 ; he then hit with power and brilliancy, 
completely mastering the bowling. Despite a few 
mistakes it was a grand performance, occupying six 
hours and twenty minutes, and he carried his bat 
through an innings of 348 ; therefore he was responsi- 
ble for more than three-fifths of the aggregate. At 
Bradford, his noble 132, made in well under four 
hours, with only one hard chance to slip, terminated 
in his being thrown out by Lee. Again at Old 
Trafford he did well, alone able to withstand Watson 
and A. G. Steel, getting an excellent 50 and patient 
39, no one else on the side obtaining 20. In the 
return he scored with the utmost freedom for 49, 
out of a total that only amounted to 117. 

Full reminiscences of Grace at Scarborough will be 
found from other pens in future pages, but allusion 
cannot here be omitted to his grand form. Against 
I Zingari for Gentlemen of England, in a lively match, 
he hit so hard as to get 26 out of 30 whilst C. I. 
Thornton was his partner, and eventually pulled a ball 
from A. G. Steel into his wicket for a capital 68. A 
third Gentlemen v. Players resulted in a single inn- 
ings victory for the amateurs, and, in particularly 
merry vein, W. G. contributed 174 out of 247 while 
in. Frequent interruptions from rain and the 
treacherous state of the wicket throughout " rendered 
this performance one of the finest ever credited to a 
batsman, and the enthusiastic reception accorded to 
him on his retirement was therefore thoroughly 
merited. His hits comprised twenty-five fours, and 
only two chances were blemishes in his magnificent 
innings." A minor incident was that during the 
annual match between Orleans Club and J. W. Hobbs' 


Club at Norbury Park, Grace came out to umpire 
during the last few minutes of the match and was 
received with a round of applause. 

Few perhaps of those contributing to this memorial 
record of the great player have felt the loss of the fine 
old sportsman so personally as P. J. de Paravicini. 
That keen cricketer writes : 

" We were tremendous friends pals if I may use 
the word to the very end. One of the things that 
have made me proudest in my life was a letter (it is 
before me now as I write) from W. G. in 1881 asking 
me to play for Gloucestershire. Imagine my delight 
as a boy at Eton to think my cricket had attracted 
the attention of the great Grace. Why, I have never 
forgotten the thrill that ran through me, even though 
it was written under a misapprehension, for I had 
no other qualification for the Western county than 
that an uncle of mine resided within it. 

To the best of my recollections the first time I 
ever played against W. G. was when I went on the 
western tour of Middlesex in 1883. It was at Clifton 
and the match was remarkable for I. D. Walker and 
Alfred Lyttelton making 324 for our second wicket ; 
after lunch they put on 226 in an hour and three- 
quarters. I had a fine taste of W. G.'s ability, for 
when his side followed on, he showed wonderful 
judgment and skill, batting over three hours for 85, 
trying to save the game. It was a near thing, for 
the last man, H. V. Page, joined Fairbanks when only 
ten minutes remained for play, but they kept their 
wickets intact. 

In those western matches year by year, I have 
some lovable memories of W. G. He was really a 
very generous opponent. Once I caught put Frank 
Townsend and it happened to be the means of our 
winning the match. Yet nobody congratulated me 
more on holding that ball than did the Old Man. I 
thought it so awfully nice of him. On another 

DR. W. G. GRACE 179 

occasion Joe Hadow, in catching him out deep rather 
forward square leg, fell and severely cut his head 
against the edge of an iron stand. Nobody could 
have been more kind than W. G. was in looking after 

A memorable match I was against him was at 
Clifton in 1885, when he carried his bat right through 
the innings against us for 221. He had been at the 
wicket all the first day for 163 and sat up right 
through the night with a confinement. He went on 
with his innings as fit as possible next day, showing 
more masterly freedom on that second morning. 
Nor was he content with that, for he took n out of 
our 20 wickets for under n runs apiece. This was- 
the occasion when report has it that on our inquiring 
about the confinement, he said : ' It was fairly 
successful. The child died and the mother died, 
but I saved the father.' 

The first time I ever played on the same side with 
him was when I appeared for the Gentlemen v. 
Players at Lord's in 1884. Some one, I forget who r 
had failed and I was asked in the pavilion to fill the 
vacancy. My own share was rather exciting. The 
Players had made 290, and when Hugh Rotherham, 
our last man, joined me we were eleven behind. 
However, we managed to head them by 6 runs and 
eventually won by six wickets. This was mainly 
due to 89 made by W. G. in his very best form, his 
stand with ' Nab ' Steel producing 137 runs. Ima- 
gine how good the bowling was when to that very 
free pair, after lunch, Peate bowled 7 overs for I 
run and Flowers 6 overs for 3 runs. 

Scarborough Festival being holiday cricket saw 
W. G. at his cheeriest. I never knew any one stand 
chaff better and his hearty laugh used to sound like 
a trumpet in the chorus of mirth, whilst he had a 
knack of saying odd things which became addition- 
ally funny from his way of putting them. 

Interviewed in Cricket years ago I told a story 


of Grace at Scarborough, and there can be no harm 
in my requoting it now. ' We always had a most 
delightful time there, thanks in great measure to 
Lord Londesborough, who entertained us in the most 
hospitable manner. On one occasion at a dance 
given by Lady Londesborough, W. G. scored off me 
very considerably : he was always splendid company. 
At this dance we were rather short of ladies. W. G. 
had been dancing all through the night, for he was 
never short of partners- the ladies would always 
dance with him rather than with us young fellows. 
At last, however, it happened that he was deserted 
for the moment. He came up to me (I had a partner) 
and in a most mysterious manner said : " I say, Para, 
just come and look at those stars shining out there." 
Thinking that something special must be on in the 
way of stars I went to have a look at them, and on 
turning round found that W. G. had gone off with 
my girl. 

Grace was so like a boy. At fifty he really might 
have been a boy. When he danced, it looked just 
like a great big bear careering round, and he footed 
it with the best. One always smiled when looking 
at him, a kindly smile, because one had the feeling 
that he was a genuine friend and gave you the 
impression that he really liked being in your company. 

There was no one like the Graces in their particular 
line of cricket. I remember W. G. telling me 
that once when Stoddart was batting and he 
was the hardest puncher of his time E. M. Grace 
caught him out at point and handed the ball to J. A. 
Bush at the wicket without shifting his feet. This 
sounds too marvellous to be true, and yet I do not 
know. The temerity of E. M. at point often lapsed 
into sheer audacity. In my time W. G. was always a 
bit slow in the field, but if a ball came near his hand, 
it invariably stuck in that mighty paw. 

As a bowler I only batted to him when he was a 
veteran. He had excellent command over the ball 

DR. W. G. GRACE 181 

and was full of tricks, fond of pitching the ball up a 
little more or of sending one in a trifle faster. He 
never objected to being hit, rather liked it ; ' Never 
mind, we'll have him directly,' he would say, and if he 
did obtain wickets by that leg ball it must have been 
at a pretty costly rate if one could get at the analysis 
of his leg balls only. He was a bowler whom a bats- 
man only needed to keep his head to. I always 
wanted to have a go, to hit freely the most miserable 
hour I ever spent in a cricket match was once at 
Trent Bridge when I had to keep up my wicket for 
an hour and managed to do it, but how bored I was 
and a hitting bat was often trapped by the Old 
Man. What I would like to emphasize is that W. G. 
never grew slack. The longer the day in the field, 
the more he would bowl. He was there to play 
cricket, and if he could not bat he was content to bowl, 
and he never worried if he was punished. 

About his batting, what struck me most was that 
the biggest hit never seemed the slightest effort. He 
did not appear to put out any greater strength for a 
huge drive than for a mere block. It was that the 
ball simply appeared to go, not he to make a bigger 
exertion to get it away. Now I have never noticed 
that in any other batsman. Also he did not have 
the fluky strokes and slicy cuts common to others ; 
all his strokes were played firmly and as he meant 
they should be played, except perhaps to very 
insidious slows on a particularly dead wicket. As 
for playing for his average, I am perfectly convinced 
that the idea never entered his head. He could not 
have adapted his fine cricket to the exigencies and 
restrictions necessitated by taking thought for his 
figures : nor would he have liked such type of play. 
Cricket to him was play, literally play play to win, 
if you like but averagemongering was not to his taste. 

I wrote just now that W. G. was like a great boy. 
I would add that he always liked the company of 
young people. His was a cheery soul. Certainly, 


in his later years with Gloucestershire, he gathered 
some weird sides for the metropolitan Visits of the 
county team. That was not his fault. But the 
young fellows were on their best behaviour and stood 
in much awe of him, which the rest of us did not, for 
we were ' hail fellow, gladly met indeed ' when we 
saw his burly form. 

I may add that Sir Home Gordon has worked out 
the statistics of W. G. Grace in the nineteen first-class 
matches in which I played either with or against him. 
His batting average for 26 completed innings 
amounted to 44 with an aggregate of 1,147, which 
included 221 not out, 101 and 127 not out, while he 
took 51 wickets for 1,239 runs > averaging 24. So I 
have tangible reasons for my personal appreciation 
of his wonderful cricket, apart from the many delight- 
ful hours spent in watching his prowess in other 

Once again in 1886 W. G. Grace, to the delight of 
the public, gave his grandest innings against the 
Australians. He had actually the highest aggregate 
of the year, 1,846, though beaten in average by 
Shrewsbury and W. W. Read, who alike took part 
in fewer matches, whilst he was also one of the five 
bowlers who took over a hundred wickets, the others 
being Barlow, Emmett, Lohmann and Wootton who, 
between all four, could not collectively score as many 
runs as came from his bat. 

At the Oval, he made the largest score, 170, ever 
credited to an English cricketer in a test match in 
this country up to the war, appropriate enough for 
the world's champion and compiled, be it remem- 
bered, after he had entered his thirty-ninth year. 
The Australians had shown poor form in their two pre- 
vious test matches that season and England played 
exactly the same side which had been victorious at 
Lord's. Grace's contribution was the more notable 
because he made the enormous proportion of 170 out 

DR. W. G. GRACE 183 

of 216 whilst he was in. His innings was not so fault- 
less as usual, for H. J. H. Scott ought to have caught 
him easily at short slip when he had made 6, and 
Giffen, Bruce and Mcllwraith gave him lives before 
he reached three figures. Scotton, who at one time 
did not score for an hour, with 34, patiently stayed 
with him until a record of 170 for the first wicket 
was amassed, one not surpassed until Hobbs and 
Rhodes in the Colonies gave their amazing combined 
performances. The enthusiasm aroused by Grace's 
achievement can be imagined. 

Intrinsically his 148 for Gentlemen of England 
on the same ground was an even more punishing 
display, as he went in first and was fourth out, giving 
only one chance of stumping which he himself always 
denied. " Old cricketers who have watched him 
season after season were loud in praise of the vigour 
and power of his cutting and of the mastery he 
showed over all the bowling," which consisted of 
Giffen, Bruce, Garrett, S. P. Jones, E. Evans and 
J. W. Trumble. His third century against the 
Colonials was for his county. On this occasion he 
had bowled with rare effectiveness against them, 
sending down 50 overs for 67 runs and 7 wickets, five 
of which were clean bowled. This he followed up 
with a brilliant no made in three hours and a half, 
George Giften being more belaboured than on almost 
any other occasion on any tour in this country, 
where his prowess with the ball was so marked. 

At Scarborough, W. G. Grace and Scotton put on 
156 against the Australians when the champion was 
caught at the wicket for a very finely played 92. 
Well on hi September, in J. A. Murdoch's testi- 
monial match, once again he meted out a superb 
74 in two hours, including ten fours, without a 
chance, a singularly exhilarating overture to a capital 
game. Small wonder the Australians went back 
wondering how much cricket there still could be in 
the veteran. 


There was no better known figure on cricket- 
grounds than " the Surrey poet " Craig, a rhymist 
with a delightiul power of repartee. He formed the 
delight of the crowd and was a most civil, decent 
man. An average specimen of his verse was a 
portion of his poem on Grace's score of 170, alluded 
to above : 

Why it was but yesterday our champion stood 

Before his wicket like a mighty rock. 
Your grand defence, sir, was acknowledged good : 

The " Demon " bowled : you never felt the shock. 
You drove him grandly here, you cut him there ; 
In fact, you seemed to put him anywhere. 

There's not a man would seek to take your place ; 

And we have men of whom we're justly proud. 
We know there's but one William Gilbert Grace ; 

None own it more so than the Surrey crowd. 
Your well-earned fame has spread both near and far, 
You're loved for what you've been and what you are. 

And still you're like some bright and ardent youth ; 

Active and buoyant peerless in your play. 
We must acknowledge, if we own the truth, 

That you are still our champion in the fray. 
We proudly add to many a brilliant score 
A hundred and seventy notches more. 

The Parsees, who toured that summer, had parti- 
cularly desired that W. G. Grace should play against 
them at Lord's. They were treated to a taste ]of his 
quality, for he hit up 65 in amazing quick time, 
obviously relishing their underhand bowling, and 
then enjoyed a harvest of wickets, capturing 7 for 1 8 
(the total being only 23) and 4 for 26. On this 
occasion, some of the spectators, pitying the incom- 
petence of our Indian visitors, shouted to him to take 
himself off. This was, of course, merely a trifling 
engagement. Hardly with more seriousness did he 
himself treat his visit to Oxford, though his success 
was even greater. He would relate how " no end of a 

DR. W. G. GRACE 185. 

dinner " was given to him on the night before, and 
that the small hours grew numerous before he at 
last went to bed. But he scored a lively 104, with a 
six and fifteen fours, and then proceeded to take all 
the 10 University wickets for 49 runs in the second 
innings of the undergraduates, the only time he ever 
achieved this in an eleven-a-side first-class match. 

For Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's, with an eleven 
weak in bowling, Grace had to bear the brunt of the 
attack. At the Oval for the last time in this match 
the brothers opened the batting together, E. M. being 
nearly forty-five, and put on 67 in an hour and a quar- 
ter. The champion's 65 was a really meritorious effort, 
and it gave him a great deal of trouble as he was two- 
hours and three-quarters at the wicket, Peate, Loh- 
mann, Ulyett, Barnes and Flowers being the bowlers. 
In the second innings, he saved the match with 50- 
not out, altogether free from fault. 

That Gloucestershire could only show three suc- 
cesses as against six defeats was due to a great falling 
off in Grace's batting, which was nothing like so good 
for the county as in big cricket. At Brighton, for 
the benefit of H. Phillips the diminutive wicket- 
keeper, he scored 51 out of 77, and 57, having kept 
himself back until the third day. At Moreton-in-the- 
Marsh against Notts, he bowled very well (4 for 23), 
and showed admirable form for 92 not out, obtaining 
very scant support except from A. C. M. Croome. At 
Trent Bridge, hi a draw when 13 wickets realized 
664, his 84 was not one of his best, though the highest, 
contribution to the Westerner's total. In a solitary 
fixture with Derbyshire, the only one tried for many 
years, the opponents were so at sea with his bowling 
that his 6 wickets, four clean bowled, only cost 34 runs. 
This was the earliest match in which Davidson 
established a reputation as a bowler, one which Grace 
himself always endorsed. 

Directly this Memorial Biography was planned, 
application for a contribution was made to the late 


Lord Alverstone. Considering that the following 
reply was written at a time when his illness had lasted 
for years and only a few weeks before his death, it 
must have cost him a great effort to compose at such 
length with his own pen what may be regarded as the 
iinal proof of his devotion to cricket and of his unfail- 
ing geniality towards all concerned with the game. 

" If I had been in my usual health, I should certainly 
have tried to write something important for your 
book, but it is out of the question in my present 
condition. I have therefore jotted down certain 
incidents in the life of W. G. Grace known to myself 
and very few others. I do not propose to discuss 
Grace's extraordinary powers or to criticize any part 
of his play. I can only join in the chorus of ad- 
miration for his splendid career in the cricket field. 
I will, however, relate the following episodes. 

In the early sixties, Dr. E. M. Grace burst like a 
meteor on the cricket horizon by taking all the 
wickets and scoring over a hundred runs in a match 
in the South of England. That summer I spent the 
Long Vacation at Cambridge. I remember it very 
well, because it was the only season I got into the 
coveted column in Bell's Life, for the minimum of 
eighty runs playing for the scholars of Trinity 
against my college. My dear friend P. M. Thorn- 
ton and I were both playing cricket at Cambridge 
and he or I happened to mention Dr. E. M. Grace's 
wonderful performance to Dan Hayward, father of 
Tom Hayward, and head of the celebrated trio, 
Hayward, Carpenter and Tarrant, then playing for 
Cambridgeshire. Whereupon Hayward said to Thorn- 
ton : ' There is a younger brother of that E. M. 
Grace who is the finest boy cricketer I have ever 
seen.' This was the first tune I heard W. G.'s name. 
Prom 1865 to the close of his career, I saw him 

I have no intention of referring to any of the inci- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 187 

dents in his wonderful career, but I will mention 
that he told me twice between 1875 and 1890 that 
Alfred Shaw of Nottingham was the only bowler who 
gave him any trouble and if he was careful he need 
not get out to any other. Also that A. G. Steel, when 
a boy at Marlborough, was the best schoolboy crick- 
eter he had ever seen. Charles Alcock, the Secretary 
of the Oval, was a great friend of W. G.'s, and, in con- 
sequence, my close connection with Surrey brought 
me into contact with him. When in 1903 I was 
nominated President of M.C.C., W. G. treated me 
with great kindness and tendered me valuable advice. 

An incident which created a great impression on 
me was this. Bertie Lucas, one of the sons of C. J. 
Lucas of Warnham Court, was a very fine bat. He 
died, alas ! too young. His father was an intimate 
friend of mine and we often met at Lord's. One day 
when Bertie Lucas and W. G. were playing in the 
same match at Lord's, they both made good scores. 
When W. G. had put on his jacket he came along to 
us in the pavilion and said : ' Mr. Lucas, I have just 
been playing with the second best bat in England.' 
Lucas' face beamed with satisfaction and I was very 
much struck with the truth and tact of the observa- 
tion. If W. G. had said ' the best bat in England ' it 
would have been a mere compliment, but in saying 
what he believed to be true, that poor Bertie Lucas 
was second only to himself, he showed a rare appre- 
ciation in expressing a fact which won his father's 

Another fact recalls his wonderful judgment. 
Owing to my constant employment at the Bar, I was 
able to see very few Australian matches, but I did 
happen to be at one at the Oval which was won by 
England by a very narrow margin, I think about 10 
runs. The weather was terrible and England were 
all out in their last innings leaving Australia between 
55 and 60 to get. I was, of course, very miserable, for 
by lunch-time Australia had lost only 2 or 3 wickets 


for about 20 runs and seemed certain of victory, 
Grace came in to lunch and before play recommenced 
he sat talking to me. I was regretting the bad luck 
England had had, and how they must inevitably lose. 
Grace turned to me and said : ' There's not the slight- 
est chance of the Australians making the runs.' I 
replied : ' What do you mean ? Why, they have only 
30 or 40 to make and 6 or 7 wickets to go down.' 
Grace said ; ' Well, you will see ; there is no chance of 
their making them.' It turned out exactly as he had 
predicted and England won by 10 or n runs. I do 
not recollect the actual figures, but my memory can 
be tested by those acquainted with England and 
Australian scores. [The Editors have not identified 
the match to which Lord Alverstone refers.] 

I will not trouble you further, but if you think 
these incidents worth a place in your book, they are 
entirely at your disposal." 

A Wonderful Revival 


TUBILEE year, in its prolonged spell of glorious 
^| weather, produced a series of incomparable 
run-getting wickets, and on them W. G. Grace in his 
iortieth year proceeded to amaze even those accus- 
tomed to the high standard of his cricket. Two 
batsmen stood transcendently before the public, 
Arthur Shrewsbury and the champion, who, in addi- 
tion to scoring two thousand runs for the first time in 
eleven seasons, also captured ninety-seven wickets. 
In forty-six innings, eight of which were unfinished, 
there were six centuries including a double century, 
eight other innings over fifty, eleven more over thirty, 
only once did he not open his account and only seven 
were single-figure contributions. He was three times 
given out for obstruction, twice stumped and thirteen 
times bowled, the other thirty times being caught. 
He started well and had no bad spell at any 
period of the season. Against Sussex for M.C.C. and 
Ground, his second match, he went in first and 
carried out his bat for 81 whilst his colleagues only 
made 37, six failing to score, though he never seemed 
in difficulties. Then he took 7 wickets for 53, after 
which he indulged in a square-leg hit right over the 
tennis court. It was the year of the centenary of 
M.C.C. , and when the Club played England, owing 



to shortage of bowling on the home side, the national 
one won by an innings and 117 runs. W. G.'s best 
contribution to the game was his second score of 45. 
It may be of interest to give the sides : M.C.C. and 
Ground : W. G. Grace, A. N. Hornby, A. J. Webbe, 
J. G. Walker and Lord Hawke with Barnes, W. 
Gunn, G. G. Hearne, Flowers, Rawlin and Sherwin. 
England : A. E. Stoddart, W. W. Read with Shrews- 
bury, Barlow, M. Read, Bates, Ulyett, Hall, Briggs, 
Lohmann and Pilling. Shrewsbury and A. E. Stod- 
dart put up 266 for the first wicket and respectively 
compiled 152 and 151. 

At the centenary banquet held in the tennis court, 
W. G. replied on behalf of medicine to the toast, 
proposed by Lord Lewisham, of " The great army of 
cricketers." A wholly delightful match followed 
between Eleven Gentlemen of M.C.C. and Eighteen 
Veterans of the Club Over Forty. W. G. was not 
yet qualified to join the Old Brigade, and to every- 
body's amusement was bowled by one of the very 
mildest of E. Rutter's slows just when he was getting 
set. His bowling was not treated with any great 
degree of respect by many who had been his victims 
in earlier days. By special request he was photo- 
graphed with both teams. He subsequently enjoyed 
himself against Cambridge, who were weak that year. 
Of the six wickets he took, four were on appeals for 
l.b.w. On the third day M.C.C. required 178 to win, 
and W. G. made 116 out of these in two hours and 
fifty minutes, being not out. He hit in grand style 
all round the wicket, lifted one on to the roof of the 
pavilion and forced runs at a great pace. 

It was Grace's opinion that the Players had never 
been stronger than in 1887 and seldom have the 
Gentlemen been so weak. In both matches the 
amateurs were defeated, by exactly the same eleven, 
with an innings to spare. In three out of the four 
efforts with the bat Grace contributed the highest 
score, his contributions being 24, 49, 15 and 35, 

DR. W. G. GRACE 191 

hitting out brilliantly when he realized conditions 
were hopeless. He also captured more of the Players' 
wickets than did any one else. Two other good 
performances at headquarters were provided by the 
champion. For M.C.C. against Lancashire he hit very 
courageously for 73, after getting his opponents quite 
bewildered by his bowling, his 6 for 45 consisting of 
four clean bowled and two l.b.w. As so often hap- 
pened, he was in his best form for Gloucestersh ire v 
Middlesex. The wicket bumped, but he opened his 
shoulders in noble fashion, making 113 out of 193, 
no one on the side except A. Newnham, who stayed 
with him for 84 runs, showing even elementary 
resistance. When there was no chance of a definite 
result, he brought off a remarkable piece of bowling, 
claiming Sir Timothy O'Brien, A. E. Stoddart and 
A. J. Webbe, the trio only making a single between 

Gloucestershire that summer so far as success went 
was Grace everything and the rest practically no- 
thing. At Blackheath, after bowling to the excellent 
tune of 7 for 55, he was batting during 140 minutes 
for a stonewalling 36 not out. A measure of luck 
assisted his 51 and 47 at Brighton, but his 58 v. 
Surrey was quite magnificent and followed an utili- 
tarian if inordinately prolonged spell of bowling 77 
overs. Against Yorkshire he contributed a faultless 
92, followed by 183 not out, which unexpectedly 
saved his side from defeat and occupied five hours and 
a half, without blemish, including twenty-one fours,, 
on the hottest day of the year. In the return at 
Dewsbury, he showed splendid cricket for 97, ter- 
minated by a catch at the wicket, his faultless effort 
including a partnership of 149 with J. H. Brain. 
At the Oval, when J. Shuter changed his order with 
only 70 runs to get, W. G. captured 4 important 
wickets for but 29 runs : each time he had been 
dismissed by pulling a ball into his wicket. 

When there was no chance of saving even a single 


innings defeat at the hands of Notts, W. G. Grace 
carried his bat right through the second effort, 
on a kicking wicket, for a perfect 113, only one other 
batsman exceeding a dozen. In the minor game with 
Somersetshire he hit hard and well for 92. Against 
Middlesex, who won by a single wicket, he had scored 
with particular skill for 63 out of 97, heavily punish- 
ing E. A. Nepean, the first time he met his slow 
bowling. The first visit ever paid by Kent to Clifton 
was rendered memorable by W. G.'s double century. 
As he himself observed, he only made it by the skin 
of his teeth, his figures being 101 and 103 not out, 
when stumps were drawn. In that last quarter of 
an hour he needed 18, but managed to score cleverly 
and his final four to square-leg was off the last ball 
but one of the match. Practically without a fault, 
he gave two superb displays, being only five hours 
and a quarter batting for his 204. The feat per- 
formed with such frequency in the twentieth century 
had up to then been only achieved by W. Lambert (in 
1817) and W. G. Grace himself (in 1868). There was 
a lot of fine hitting at Scarborough in the cheery 
game between Gentlemen of England and I Zingari, 
and W. G. set a good example with 73, he, C. I. 
Thornton and A. E. Stoddart putting up 300 in two 
liours and a half. 

After the conclusion of M.C.C. and Ground v. 
Yorkshire, a football match under Association rules 
was played between the teams. W. G. went half- 
back. Heavy though he was, he succeeded in getting 
past Tom Emmet t and Lord Hawke, but in his 
attempt to score he was caught by Preston, just as he 
had been in the cricket match. Later in some rough 
and tumble play, he again did well, and, immediately 
after the teams had crossed over without scoring, he 
got a corner and placed the ball right to the centre. 
After M.C.C. had obtained two goals, Rugby rules 
were played during the last ten minutes, and Grace 
obtained a try. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 193 

1888 was the year when Turner and Ferris created 
an extraordinary sensation by their marvellous 
bowling for the Australians. It was a wet season 
in which batting averages sharply suffered. Grace 
with an aggregate of 1,886 was by far the largest 
run-getter, only being beaten in average by W. W. 
Read. The latter and Abel were the only batsmen 
besides Grace who obtained over a thousand aggre- 
gate. The champion's bowling had only one superior 
among English amateurs, namely S. M. J. Woods, 
and he took six more wickets than that aggressively- 
fine Anglo-Australian cricketer. What was unusual 
with W. G. was his complete failure in the month of 
July when eleven visits to the wicket only produced 
115 runs. For the second time in his first-class experi- 
ence he had two consecutive ducks-eggs, v. Middlesex 
and Surrey in the West. Practically all the rest was 
of his very best. 

Dealing first with his efforts against the Austra- 
lians ; in the opening game at Norbury Park he dis- 
missed Bannerman, S. P. Jones, G. H. S. Trott, 
Blackham and Lyons for 51. Next came that re- 
markable exhibition for the Gentlemen of England 
at Lord's when he and J. Shuter by run-getting of the 
most brilliant description ran neck and neck until the 
Surrey captain was dismissed for 71, a partnership 
which from the aspect of sheer delight has never been 
surpassed. It amounted to 158. Grace carried his 
own score up to 165, occupying three hours and forty 
minutes over a display that must rank among his 
best and which was quite remarkable. On no other 
occasion were Turner and Ferris so ruthlessly han- 
dled. When W. G. made his appearance at Birming- 
ham for an England XI, he met with a great reception 
and the crowd carried him round the ground. Once 
again when England was beaten in a test match, 
Grace was top-scorer. The Australians on an awful 
wicket at Lord's set the home side 124, and he began 
as freely as if it were Saturday afternoon cricket, 


making 24 really well out of 34 while in, but the 
whole eleven was out for 62. For his county he 
claimed 4 wickets for 27 and in the absence of Turner, 
played in immaculate fashion for 51. In the return 
his 92, with only one chance in the deep field, was a 
notably sound exhibition, the only score exceeding 
fifty on either side. The third test match was at 
Manchester and his 38 was the highest and most 
attractive contribution in the whole match. He was 
out to a wonderful right-handed catch on the boun- 
dary by Bonnor. In this game W. G. was captain of 
England and led a victorious side remarkably well, 
four of his own catches dismissing McDonnell, 
Bannerman, Bonnor and Edwards, one a magnifi- 
cent left-handed one going a long way to help the 
single innings success which gave the Mother Country 
the rubber. Finally, at Hastings, where he was to be- 
come a recognized institution, W. G.'s capital 53 out 
of 66 whilst in elicited rapturous tributes from the 
crowd. That year he had the highest average in 
representative matches and the highest aggregate in 
all encounters with the Australians. 

His average for Gloucestershire was also the best 
recorded for any county in 1888, and he tied with 
Woof for the highest number of wickets. All else 
was overshadowed by his wonderful double century 
against Yorkshire, the third and last of his career. 
In the first innings he scored 50 out of 75, 100 out of 
147 and 148 out of 221, being sixth out, having batted 
absolutely without the semblance of a mistake for 
three hours and a half. In the second innings he 
surpassed this big score by making 153 out of 253 
in only three hours ; except for a very difficult 
chance at the wicket when 12 there was not a blemish 
in this wonderful and singularly alert effort. 

At Brighton, in a huge scoring match, W. G. went 
in first and at the close of the first day was not out 
188. He was finally dismissed, through hitting his 
wicket in playing at a lob from Walter Humphreys, 

DR. W. G. GRACE 195 

for 215, the largest score in a county match that 
summer. " It was remarkable for the power and 
freedom of its all-round hitting and for the unerring 
judgment and masterful ease with which all kinds 
of bowling was met." It may here be mentioned 
that Grace himself several times emphasized the 
fact that the majority of his greatest scores were 
compiled in drawn matches or in defeats, though of 
course there were exceptions. 

Against Kent on a tricky deceptive wicket at 
Blackheath, W. G. made 64 out of 114 and 33 out of 
77, whilst his 5 wickets cost only 23 runs. For 
M.C.C. and Ground at Lord's he worked very hard 
against Sussex, claiming 5 for 38 and scoring 73, 
" an innings quite worthy of his reputation." Twice 
meeting Oxford, he afforded the undergraduates 
excellent demonstrations of batting, contributing 
95 and 29, 25 and 39. For South v. North his 44 
was made in great style off Attewell, Barnes, Peel, 
Barlow and Flowers. 

One of the keenest help-mates of the master in 
county matches was that useful all-round Old 
Cliftonian, H. V. Page, who writes : 

" Naturally my recollections of W. G. Grace are 
chiefly associated with Gloucestershire cricket, but 
not entirely so. For instance, I took particular 
interest in obtaining his views about the old fast 
bowlers. Tarrant and Jackson were the two he 
counted greatest. He spoke of the spin and life in 
Jackson's ball as something marvellous. The older 
bowlers in their day were always so fresh, he would 
say : the rough wickets encouraged them, innings 
were shorter and matches more rare, so they did not 
grow worn and stale before August. W. G. had a 
great admiration for Allen Hill. Mold hurt more than 
any bowler he ever knew, I have heard him say. 
And why ? Because he threw. ' Mold breaks them 
inches on the plumbest wicket/ for the same reason. 


I am quoting contemporaneous views given by W. G., 
before Jem Phillips' no-balling crusade. 

Between Spofforth and Turner, he discriminated 
in an interesting comparison : ' Spofforth could make 
a ball break on a bowler's wicket as much as he liked ; 
he could bend it a foot and a half or two inches ; 
and he knew how much he was putting on. Turner's 
fault was that he persisted in bending them a lot 
ball after ball and could not produce the tiny break 
at will. No bowler could control his break better 
than Spofforth : he could put on just what he 
wanted. The best ball I take it does not break more 
than from three to five inches.' 

I suppose many contributors will have laid stress 
on Grace's capacity for taking pains. I remember 
an instance. About 1885, he had a spell of bad 
luck : on our Northern tour he had had a double 
failure against Lancashire and Yorkshire. We ran 
to Notts on the Tuesday evening and had a net up 
at Trent Bridge next day. ' A quarter of an hour 
apiece batting ' was the order. W. G. had fifty 
minutes before lunch and forty after, simply playing 
himself into form and he had his reward on the 
Thursday. Any one else I ever met would have been 
content with one ordinary spell. I never knew him 
fail to go out and have his knock at the nets or 
against the club rails in the morning ; and how he 
rated any youngster who failed to do the same. 

Never, if he could help it, did he put a colt out 
in the country in his first few matches, certainly 
never in the first unless he particularly wanted to go. 
So wise. The youngster, as the crack of his club, 
would be quite unused to the deep. ' Go cover- 
point,' was the usual instruction. W. G. soon learnt 
if he was a worker, a judge of a run and of men, by 
his fielding there ; and then he would tell him to 
make himself an out-field by practice, if it was likely 
he would be wanted there. 

People used to talk about W. G. for shouting at his 

DR. W. G. GRACE 197 

fielders. The only men who came in for this were 
(i) those who came at a ball slowly when the batsmen 
were racing for two ; (ii) those who made a brilliant 
dash for show with one' hand when nothing could 
come of success and failure meant a run ; (iii) above 
all, men who wandered in the field, who could not or 
would not keep their place ; (iv) slackers, of course, 
but those he dropped unless they were really good 
players. I can hear him say : ' The last three or four 
players are not going to win many matches, but what 
a lot they can lose by dropping Shrewsbury or 
Walter Read. Why, they lose in one match as many 
as they make in a month.' 

W. G. never would field short-slip, strangely 
enough, even with a fine short-leg to do the fetching. 
I have heard him say he had never liked it and grew 
to dislike it. Of course, E. M. kept him out of point 
for Gloucestershire. Some people are now talking 
of W. G. as one of the greatest points ; as a matter 
of fact, he was never within streets of E. M. there 
and he knew it. Just very good, but not a genius 
and wizard like E. M. in the place. 

Some one else is sure to have told in detail how he 
was up with a maternity case all night ; went in to 
bat at twelve, was not out at six ; 163 not out (many 
more next day, I am not near books of reference). 
The point in my alluding to it is that I possess the 
bat ! I gave him a new one for it, which broke 
next morning at the nets. He wanted his old one 
back and I only saved it by taking it down to the 
station then and there and sending it home. 

There was a beautifully comic end to his 31.8 not 
out innings v. Yorkshire at Cheltenham. It was 
after lunch on the second day ; nowadays he would 
have declared at 9 wickets down for whatever was 
on the score board. ' Frizzie ' Bush came in when 
W. G. was 280 odd. W. G. at once tried to run him 
out, but ' Frizzie ' was not taking any, and left W. G. 
to flounder about by himself, saying : ' No, no, if the 


wicket is good enough for you to bat for a day and a 
half, I am going to have a bit myself, unless of course 
you get out and spoil it all. I can stay in if you 
can.' Now to the younger generation I may be per- 
mitted to state that as a bat the jolly fine old wicket- 
keeper was usually a negligible and willingly divert- 
ing quantity. Tom Emmett plaintively said ' Get 
out ' and sat down in the middle of the wicket. 
Runs came and W. G. reached 300, whereupon he 
again promptly tried to run Bush out, equally unsuc- 
cessfully, amid shouts of delight from the rest of his 
own side looking on. [Bush finally scored 32, before 
being bowled by George Ulyett.] 

It was the hardest thing to get W. G. to talk 
about his old doings. He never bucked. You 
never heard him allude to any of his old achieve- 
ments, much less to any recent ones. But he liked 
telling a story over again which took his fancy. 
There was one he never wearied of telling Warwick- 
shire folk. In their last season or two as a second- 
class county, Jimmy Cranston, whose last innings 
for Gloucestershire was a century v. Lancashire, went 
to live in Warwickshire. W. G. let the authorities 
know the fact, but after the necessary interval, they 
did not think him good enough. Some five years 
elapsed and he qualified again for us, played magnifi- 
cently and was picked for England. W. G. relished 
that tale. 

The dear old man could be obstinate on occasions. 
Once was when we were playing the Australians at 
Bristol. We had to bat after a long day for some- 
thing less than an hour. ' You boys go in, I am 
going to wait for the morning/ said W. G. Wicket 
after wicket fell, but nothing would induce him to 
bat, until he had to sally forth, at six-twenty-four 
p.m., number ten, with Board to follow. 

People often wondered why Painter never had a 
turn with the ball. He had one great week as a 
bowler against Middlesex and Kent at Gravesend 

DR. W. G. GRACE 199 

in the match when the Old Man was in the field every 
ball. [20 wickets for 148 runs, average 7*40, was the 
professional's achievement in the two games.] That 
most decidedly was not his true form, but he was a 
very useful bowler all through his career. I am 
sure not giving him more opportunity all came from a 
gang of his friends (off the hills) keeping up a con- 
certed cry of ' Painter, Painter/ during the Chelten- 
ham Week. The Bristol crowd took it up as a joke 
and so in order to teach them manners and give them 
a lesson, Painter never got a bowl from year to year. 

The placing by W. G. of the field on the on-side for 
his own bowling shows vividly how play has changed. 
He bowled to pitch one inch inside the leg- stump 
with a gentle inward turn. And yet he had no short 
(square) leg ! One real mid-on and a man (always 
one of the very best) eight or nine yards behind the 
bowler's wicket, just clear of his own arm. Still 
people rarely worked the single to square short -leg 
in W. G.'s prime and not even in my earlier days 
(1883-1888). On the other hand what had been 
the place of honour and for hard drives became a 
sinecure where you picked up trickles and pushes. 
What fun Frank Townsend had there in his youthful 
days, and what calm and rest in his veteran years ! 
George Ulyett, A. N. Hornby, W. J. Ford, G. B. 
Studd, Alfred Lyttelton, Bates, A. G. Steel ; I can 
see them all going in to drive W. G. straight ; and 
what noble c. and b.'s he made. That was when he 
was a bowler. And then think of how their succes- 
sors came to play his little lobs of his later days. 
Push, pat, fudge one to leg. 

I can call to mind an interesting instance of his 
wiliness. We were playing Notts at Clifton on a 
real sticky wicket (rain must have held us up). 
W. G. made a rare good sixty or thereabouts, and 
we gave them something like a hundred and sixty. 
We all thought we had them beaten. The time was 
about four on the second day, stumps to be drawn 


at six. W. G. whispered to me : ' It's our job to 
make them think it is as difficult still as it has been, 
but it is not, and if they (Arthur Shrewsbury, Scotton, 
William Gunn and Co.) can potter about a bit to- 
night, it will be a decent wicket to-morrow and 
they will win easy.' In came Arthur Shrewsbury 
and William Scotton. W. G. walks on to the wicket, 
puts down his prodigious thumb and says : ' Now, 
Woofie, it is made for you/ He went silly third- 
man (as we called it then), E. M. planted himself 
some five yards off the bat at point, Croome stood 
very close in at silly point. Shrewsbury, great bat 
as he was, the best on a sticky wicket was flum- 
muxed. Where was he to plant the ball with six 
hands grabbing ? Three times he danced out and 
hit a lofty two to the outfield, and then he was 
stumped with yards to spare. The next men each 
in turn received the benefit of the thumb business ; 
we kept them full of it and disposed of eight of them 
that night. The wicket was white, dry and easy next 
morning, but we won, simply and solely through 
bustling them. Fancy bustling that crowd, with 
Barnes, Flowers and Dixon to follow the trio I have 
already mentioned! 

In conclusion, let me give a notable instance of 
cricket generosity on the part of W. G. Our two 
home grounds for Gloucestershire matches, in the 
days up to about 1890, were Clifton College and 
Cheltenham College, the latter with a slight slope 
just like Lord's, the former like Canterbury ideal 
grounds for a slow left-hander like Woof and just 
right for W. G. himself. Invariably the Old Man 
gave up his end to Woof, and what is more I never 
heard him grouse about it." 

Two legislative innovations affected 1889, the 
introduction of the closure and the increase of five 
balls to the over. It was another wet year, but 
Grace in his more expensive bowling, which only 

DR. W. G. GRACE 201 

yielded 44 instead of 93 wickets, showed the effects of 
increasing years and weight. Again he enjoyed the 
distinction of the highest aggregate of the year, 1,396, 
with the same average, 32, having only Gunn, Shrews- 
bury, Leslie Wilson, Barnes and M. Read ahead in 
averages, Gunn, Barnes, K. J. Key and Abel being 
besides himself the only other scorers of a thousand 
runs. Grace's batting yielded two duck's-eggs, 
twelve efforts under double figures, twenty-one inn- 
ings under fifty, seven under a hundred and three 
centuries. With two not outs, he was once l.b.w. 
(to Peel), ten times bowled and caught on every 
other occasion, six times at the wicket. 

Again for Gloucestershire in the metropolis, W. G. 
was in a prolific vein ; v. Middlesex he played rather 
more patiently than his wont for 101, but showing 
"all his old mastery and judgment in placing." 
O. G. Radcliffe helped him to put up 105 for the first 
wicket. Opposed to Surrey, apart from himself 
only J. Cranston could play Beaumont and Loh- 
mann, but W. G. in conjunction with the left-hander 
was so punishing that 126 was added in one hundred 
minutes, his own score being 94. After the first 
declaration ever made, he contributed 34 out of the 
first 51, only to see his side dismissed for 92. 

Not for many years had Gentlemen v. Players at 
the Oval resulted in so good a match between such 
excellent sides, and Grace enjoyed the distinction of 
having the highest aggregate for the amateurs. At 
the start the wicket was overwatered, and it there- 
fore took him two hours and twenty minutes to score 
a comparatively dull 49. Though again slow in 
compiling his 67, the burden of a losing game was 
then on his shoulders : excellently he acquitted 
himself. The manner in which he and Abel at 
Manchester wiped off the deficit of the South, respec- 
tively being credited with 48 and 55, formed the 
brightest feature in the successful benefit for Pilling, 
that Blackham of English wicket-keepers. At Scar- 


borough W. G. played a chanceless 58 against I Zin- 
gari and then gave a superb display for 154 for South v. 
North. He and Abel put on 226 for the first wicket, 
under decidedly tricky conditions when their side 
followed on in a minority of 163. Grace was out at 
278, caught by Lord Hawke at short-leg, for a superb 
154, having preserved a curiously even rate of scoring 
all through the four hours and a half, during which 
he was credited with sixteen fours, with only three 
possible uppish strokes. Never before had Gentle- 
men v. Players been begun so late in a season as 
September 16, at Hastings, but a thrilling struggle 
ended in the success of the former by a wicket. 
Grace's own innings was soon terminated by a magni- 
ficent catch left-hand uplifted to the extremity of 
his reach on the boundary by William Gunn, who was 
six feet three in height. 

In the return with Middlesex, W. G. obtained his 
second century of the season. So cautiously did he 
start that he only scored five singles in the first 
half hour, but after that runs came at a good pace, 
and when the last wicket fell, he had carried his bat 
right through for 127, " an innings in every way 
worthy of him." His best effort, however, was his 
84 v. Sussex on the new county ground, Ashley Down, 
Bristol. The wicket was so treacherous that there 
were no other score over 40 in the match and only 
three over 18, yet Grace played grandly, without a 
vestige of a mishit, never showing a sign of difficulty 
and tackling all the bowling with ease, after himself 
taking 5 wickets for 32 runs. He was also the 
match- winning factor against Warwickshire at Bir- 
mingham, for with J. Cranston he put up 101 for the 
second wicket, his own contribution being a fine 64, 
and then with Woof he dismissed the home side for 52, 
his six wickets only costing 23 runs. At Brighton, 
after getting a beautiful 70, Bean clean bowled 
him for the uncoveted blob. In each match with 
Yorkshire he just reached the half century. Against 

DR. W. G. GRACE 203 

Lancashire, when his eleven collapsed pitiably 
before Briggs, he carried his bat for 37 out of 87, 
never once being perturbed. Perhaps what he most 
enjoyed that summer was trapping Shrewsbury, 
W. Gunn and Flowers very cheaply in a few overs. 
He certainly related this with gusto. The Gentle- 
men of Philadelphia experienced an interesting tour,, 
but twice met W. G. and found that he claimed 16 
wickets for 13 runs apiece, whilst scoring 26, 46 and 
39 not out against their somewhat weak attack. 

One charming trait of W. G.'s kindness must be 
fresh in the memory of many. He was playing for 
Gentlemen of M.C.C. v. Royal Artillery. Bomba- 
dier Barton, who afterwards played for both Kent 
and Hampshire, made his reputation in this match 
by batting particularly well, scoring 91 out of 167 
and 102 out of 173. When he had 99 to his credit, 
W. G. said to him : " I'll give you a full pitch to leg." 
This he proceeded to do and followed it up with a 
whole over of leg-balls, not one of which, from sheer 
anxiety, Barton could touch. Indeed off one of them 
he was probably l.b.w., but Grace did not appeal. 
Eventually he scraped a single and was happy. 

Appropriately, on the lighter side, come the second 
portion of the reminiscences of C. I. Thornton, who 
writes : 

" Only once in my life have I been in with a bats- 
man who wanted only a few to get two thousand runs 
in a season. This occurred at Scarborough in 1887 
and, of course, the big totalizer was W. G. Not 
that he ever worried about his average, or aggregate 
either ; he was far too good a cricketer for that. 
The game was Gentlemen of England v. I Zingari, 
and not often have I seen W. G. hit so hard. 
We went in together. I have done a fair 
amount of gentle tapping in my time and this 
century was one of the liveliest I have perpetrated, 
including three sixes just to set the bowling at ease 


and seventeen fours. I was the earlier to go, the 
first wicket falling at 173, but W. G. soon followed, 
having a dozen fours in his vigorously free 73. Our 
first 74 runs were made in 35 minutes not bad con- 
sidering that I was thirty-seven and he thirty-nine, 
neither of us being what you may term feather- 
weights. J. A. Bush being absent, the Old Man put 
on the gloves and cleverly stumped Webbe off a slow 
from Evan Nepean. This was the only first-class 
match in which Prince Christian Victor took part ; 
more's the pity, for he was a good bat (his 35 was a 
meritorious effort) and a capital stumper, over- 
shadowed at Oxford by ' Punch ' Philipson. 

Allusion to a University recalls a case where a 
man who was unknown to some of my side was the 
cause of a curious remark by Grace. It was during 
one of the matches when I took my England team 
to Cambridge. Bernard Posno was playing for me 
and so was W. G., but as it happened Grace had never 
heard of Posno at the time. So when I asked him to 
go in first with Posno he looked quite bewildered and 
asked, in astonishment : ' Posno, Posno ! What's 
that ? Is it something to eat ? ' 

He had a quaintly humorous way of putting 
things. One wet Sunday afternoon at Scarborough, 
Stoddart and Page had been warbling away. In a 
pause, from the corner, came W. G.'s stentorian bid- 
ding : ' Now, Stoddy, let's have another of those 
little dittoes.' 

He played a capital joke on me once. Turner and 
Blackham between them had made me bag a brace. 
When we were all dining that night with Lord and 
Lady Londesborough a huge parcel was brought in to 
me at table. Smelling a joke, I kept putting off 
opening it until dessert and then I solemnly undid the 
package and found its contents were the huge pair 
of spectacles W. G. had borrowed from the optician's 
shop in the town. Nor was this the end, for when we 
all went on to the circus, the clown Whimsical 

DR. W. G. GRACE 205 

Walker came on as a parody of me, no pads and so 
forth, and after some patter pulled a couple of duck's 
eggs out of his pocket. 

Timothy O'Brien, at another Festival, perpetrated 
a highly successful joke on Grace. W. G. had been 
bowling and Farrands had persisted in ' not out ' to 
all his appeals for l.b.w., much to W. G.'s visible dis- 
comfiture. That night at dinner, he received a long 
letter apparently written by Farrands, stating how 
much he had been hurt by his honour being impugned 
through W. G. not appearing to agree with his 
decisions. There were yards of this, and in the kind- 
liness of his heart W. G. was dreadfully perturbed 
at having annoyed an old pro. He alluded to the 
matter several times and in the smoking-room said he 
must at once write to him. It was only then he 
was undeceived. He took it in excellent part and 
admitted he had been fairly 'had.' 

This recalls how W. G. was fielding square leg 
when Fred Roberts, who bowled fast left-handed, 
hit a batsman plumb on the pad. At the end of the 
over W. G. said : ' Fred, why did you not appeal for 
that l.b.w. ? ' ' Well, sir, the truth is I was waiting 
for you to.' 

When the greatest of all the Australian teams came 
to the Orleans Club at my invitation, I gathered a fine 
side and another half hour might well have made us 
victors. Murdoch saved the game for them by 
carrying his bat through the second innings for a 
beautiful 107. I remember his cutting two succes- 
sive fours off W. G. ; but the champion, besides 
opening with a capital 34, had captured 5 wickets 
for 37 runs in their first effort. We had a delightful 
dinner, with Sir John Astley, the dear old Mate, in 
the chair, but in conjunction with Billy Murdoch I 
had to do the talking, so W. G. could enjoy his meal 
in content without having to get on his feet. 

He never was any good at a speech, and at one of 
the last Hastings Festivals at a dinner given in the 


club by the secretary, he brought out what was 
practically a facsimile of his speeches in Canada and 
the United States more than thirty years earlier : ' I 
have enjoyed myself, and if it were not for your excel- 
lent secretary there would be no cricket here and no 
nothing either.' And with that he sat down. 

Newham told me that one night before a Sussex and 
Gloucestershire match W. G. was enlarging on the 
ease of playing the lobs of Walter Humphreys. 
He reverted to this several times, twice observing : 
' Billy, the way to play him is to hit him out of the 
ground.' Therefore Newham thought that the Old 
Man was bothered beforehand at the prospect of 
playing the deliveries of the Cobbler ; so he began 
his attack next morning with him and Humphreys 
outed him at once. 

There is no doubt that Percy McDonnell agreed 
with me in thinking that Alfred Shaw was the easiest 
bowler to hit. W. G. was of the reverse opinion, and 
it is a fact that no one else so often captured his 
wicket. Of course an orthodox and an unorthodox 
batsman the latter I always rejoiced to be see the 
same bowler from different aspects. Slows bothered 
Grace most ; they are of course the most attractive 
to slog at because they come to you more deliberately. 
On the other hand pace never presented the least 
difficulty to W. G.,and I cannot recall a fast bowler 
he did not punish freely ; Fred Morley, for instance, 
being a prolific victim to his scoring propensities. 

It always amused both of us the way in which 
younger members of opposing sides at Scarborough 
tried to get him out in the luncheon interval. On 
one occasion he was 59 not out at the interval and 
noted with glee how two or three of the other side 
plied him with ' pop.' As he walked back to the 
pitch with me he said : ' Those boys thought they'd 
get me out at the luncheon table, but they'll only 
make me open my shoulders,' and that afternoon 
he was good for a rare long score made very fast. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 207 

As most people will remember, he was rather care- 
less about dress as a rule, but when poor young W. G. 
Grace junior obtained a place in the Cambridge 
eleven, his father appeared at the University match 
in an immaculate new grey frock-coat and resplendent 
tall hat. I was sitting with Stoddart on the big 
table in the pavilion when he joined us. At his 
first observation, Stoddart with immense gravity 
said : ' Pardon me, would you tell me whom I have 
the honour of addressing/ ' Ah, you old rogue/ 
retorted the Doctor in high glee, ' there will be one or 
two here that I shan't be knowing later on/ 

As I observed, I treasure newspaper cuttings. 
Here is one from a London ' daily ' about W. G. 
when he played for my side against the Australians 
at Norbury in 1888. ' Bright Phcebus Apollo (occa- 
sionally known as the sun) swung high in the bending 
blue, imparting a full flood of mellow warmth and 
shedding a stream of golden glory over the level 
green as W. G. Grace swung out of the tent with his 
bat under his arm, resembling nothing so much as an 
Assyrian monarch on the frieze of an ancient entab- 
lature. The champion was in excellent form and the 
decision of Farrands in giving him out l.b.w. to 
Turner was not at all appreciated by the great bats- 
man.' It was in that match that, having driven 
Ferris high and straight to the boundary, I saw W. G. 
rise among the spectators and cleverly catch me, 
much to the amusement and applause of the spec- 

'The champion was in excellent form.' That will 
be our memory of Grace off and on the field. It is 
with that phrase I declare my present contributory 
innings closed, remembering the opinion of Souther- 
ton about him : ' He's a wonder, he is.' So he always 
was, so he will be in our recollection until we too are 
dismissed by the last bowler Death." 

This year the portrait was painted for M.C.C. at 


the cost of 300 by Archibald Stuart Wortley which 
forms the frontispiece to this volume. Private 
subscriptions for it were limited to a sovereign. 
When standing for this picture, W. G. took up his 
characteristic and delightful pose. The artist hesi- 
tated : " But, Dr. Grace, would you stand as easily 
if the game were in a tight place ? " he asked. " Cer- 
tainly," was the reply, " because, after all, I should 
only be facing the next ball " and that was 
thoroughly typical. 

of Messrs. Swan & Morgan 


The Portrait by the late Archibald Stuart Wortley 
the original of which is in the Pavilion at Lords. 

Prowess in Two Hemispheres 


WG. GRACE was naturally to the fore in a 
. season when the Australians were visiting 
England, and in 1890 he went to the wicket no less 
than fifty-five times, but for him with the bat it was 
not a good year comparatively of course though 
an improvement was noticeable in his bowling 
figures. " Certainly the application of the celestial 
watering-pot was very much overdone in 1890," and 
the champion's extraordinary vitality as well as the 
way he shaped at all sorts of bowling showed that 
any statistical falling-off was only accidental. 

This was the first tour in which the Australian 
defeats exceeded the number of their successes : for 
whilst Turner and Ferris were deadly as in 1888 with 
the ball, the batsmen, apart from W. L. Murdoch 
and that arch-smiter J. J. Lyons, fell short owing to 
the wet wickets. W. G. Grace played against them 
as frequently as Lohmann and more often than any 
one else. He stood fifth in English batting, averaging 
29, and second only to William Gunn in representa- 
tive matches. So he had no cause for displeasure at 
his own achievements. 

In the opening match at Sheffield Park, the two 
crack Colonial bowlers actually dismissed what was 
virtually an England eleven for 27, of which number 
W. G. made no less than 20. In a scratch side in 

209 P 


Wiltshire, he batted splendidly for 64 when no one 
else except O. G. Radcliffe could exceed 20, and for 
M.C.C. and Ground he showed audacious disrespect 
for the Australian bowling, as in company with 
J. Shuter he scored so fast that fifteen minutes yielded 
32 runs, when it was a race against time. Several 
other creditable contributions led to the first test 
match at Lord's. If Turner caught him off his own 
bowling for nothing, Shrewsbury, W. W. Read and 
Gunn fared little better, for all four were out with 
only 20 on the board. Set 136 to win, W. G. virtu- 
ally took the game into his own hands, because he 
hit magnificently for 75 not out, meeting all attacks 
with fierce freedom. It was a really great effort. 

Again in the second test match, at the Oval, he 
was dismissed without scoring, being easily caught by 
Hugh Trumble at short slip off the very first ball. 
Indeed he ought to have been dismissed for the 
brace he never bagged in first-class cricket, for he 
cut the first ball straight into the usually safe hands 
of Harry Trott a magnificent point who fumbled 
and dropped it. However, his stay this time was 
not long. At Scarborough on the second day, he 
thought it advisable not to have the wicket rolled,, 
and to this was attributed the defeat of Lord Londes- 
borough's XI by 8 runs. In a startling match, he 
obtained top score in both innings with 14 and 19, 
besides catching out both Trott and Murdoch. At 
Hastings, for the South, when batting very finely for 
84, his punishment of Charlton was something to 

Doing practically nothing for the Gentlemen, the 
rest of his efforts, handicapped at one period, how- 
ever, by an injured knee, were on behalf of Glouces- 
tershire. He played a remarkable innings of 109 
against Kent, carrying his bat through an innings of 
231 with only one possible chance to slip. A charac- 
teristic effort was directed against Yorkshire who,. 
on first hands, led by 137, accentuated by the further 

DR. W. G. GRACE 211 

loss of E. M. Grace, W. W. F. Pullen and O. G. Rad- 

cliffe for 19. Then J. Cranston joining W. G., " the 
bowling was hit with power and freedom and, though 
numerous changes were tried, 50 runs were made in 45 
minutes and 100 in 85. At one time 120 runs were 
scored in 65 minutes. [It should be remembered 
that J. Cranston was left-handed.] Grace, when 
wanting only two for his century, was given out l.b.w. 
He and Cranston had put on 188 runs in two hours 
and twenty minutes, and what rendered their per- 
formance almost phenomenal was the fact that 
neither gave any chance. Grace in his splendid 
98 had fifteen fours, hitting at times with all the 
freedom of youth." Against Lancashire his superb 
94 lasted nearly four hours. The brothers Grace 
put up 117 for the first wicket against Sussex, 
leading off to what resulted in a single innings vic- 
tory. Again Lancashire bowling at Clifton was to 
his taste, for he scored 90 out of 176 while in, being 
only second out, Baker catching him cleverly in the 
deep field. This was his third ninety within a fort- 
night and nobody heard him grumble at none of them 
being centuries. He was also not out against Notts, 
obtaining 70 out of 123 whilst at the wicket. At 
Scarborough he claimed 4 I Zingari wickets for only 
18 runs, abruptly terminating the match, his victims, 
all caught, being G. F. Vernon, H. J. Mordaunt, 
W. C. Hedley and C. C. Clarke. 

The last-named, most cheery of humorists, 
writes : 

' It is not for me to deal with the doughty deeds 
of W. G. Grace. Others who played with him or 
those who are critics must vaunt them. My share 
is only the modest one of paying testimony to the 
genuine kindliness of the dear old fellow. I was 
very fond of him and there was never the slightest 
jar on our intimacy and good feeling. 

Only once did I have a small share in one of his 


grandest feats, for I happened to be in with him at 
Canterbury when he was dismissed for that remark- 
able 344 for Marylebone v. Kent in 1876. His 
innings extended over two days. On the first even- 
ing he was not out for about 150 [133] and that 
was the most attractive contribution I ever saw 
either from him or any other cricketer. It did not 
matter where George Harris placed the field, whether 
point was forward or set back, nor how the men in the 
deep were set, with clean cuts and strong pushes he 
was sending ball after ball past them. As sometimes 
happened he was spurred to a big effort by the side 
having failed in the first innings. ' We'll make it 
warm for them this time,' he said to me as he was 
fastening his glove, and right well he kept his 
promise. On the first evening of his innings, he 
observed to me that something was wrong with his 
bat. So, after dinner, he and I tinkered up another, 
making the handle bigger by splicing an old white 
glove round it and so forth. He knocked that deputy 
bat about a good deal, and after I had rejoined him 
at the close of our effort, he remarked in his cheery 
way : ' I'll give it to you, Challie ' (he always called 
me Challie), for one of your slogging innings/ the 
joke of which lay in the fact that I was a strictly 
defensive bat. 

This was not his only gift to me. At Scarborough, 
off the field he was in the habit of wearing a very 
large white wideawake of a soft canvassy material 
with a remarkably broad M.C.C. ribbon round it. 
One day as we were going on the Esplanade he put 
on my straw hat with the I Z ribbon. ' It fits,' he 
said, ' we'll change,' and so we did for our morning 
walk. He chuckled at wearing the I Z colours for 
once. He never received an invitation to join that 
clubless subscriptionless fellowship and several times 
played for the Gentlemen of England against the 
vagrant side. It amused him therefore to don their 
colours : ' This is great,' he remarked with a laugh 

DR. W. G. GRACE 213 

at the notion of our changing headgear. I kept his 
for years, but somehow it has been lost. 

All my best tales about him have been appro- 
priated by other contributors and I bear no malice. 
But one personal anecdote showing his unbounded 
kindliness remains for me to relate. One wet day 
at Scarborough, we all went to the circus and after 
the performance, I perpetrated an impromptu 
additional one, running round the ring and jumping 
about. I came unexpectedly on a barrier and came 
a header nearly twenty feet, badly spraining my 
ankle. At that visit to Lord Londesborough, I was 
sleeping in the Lodge, which is a few yards off. W. G. 
took me back, dressed my ankle, dressed me and 
proceeded to carry me on his back into the house for 
dinner. There was a dance that night and he bore 
me to a capital seat. Then at supper-time up he 
came : ' Challie, I've such a nice girl to sit next you 
at supper,' and he had made up a party to which he 
conveyed me pick-a-back. He bore me to bed in the 
wee hours, took my clothes off, put a cradle in bed 
over my leg and was the very first individual next 
morning to pull up my blinds and see how I was. 
And all in the heartiest manner too, adding to his 
kindness by the way he conferred it. 

W. G. was very fond of dancing. ' I am not a good 
hand at a waltz, but give me a polka,' he would say. 
And as a matter of fact at the Scarborough dances 
several extra polkas were generally in the programme 
for his special benefit. He really danced them 
awfully well and like many big men was very light 
on his feet. The prettiest girls used to beset him to 
be their partner, laughing and gleeful, for they all 
liked him and he responded gaily. 

W. G. would go anywhere to play a match if he 
had a spare day. Several times a telegram on Friday 
evening brought him for my side on a Saturday. He 
would ask to keep wicket and could do it top-hole. 
He had a real talent for wearing the gloves, which was 


not appreciated by the public. More than once I 
have seen a temporary wicket-keeper perform with 
real distinction A. J. Webbe for instance but 
W. G. was by far the best I ever came across. 

Other cricketers will tell you of their own doings, 
but he never. It was quite remarkable. Another 
case of self-effacement at personal loss can be men- 
tioned from my personal knowledge. On one occa- 
sion I was the intermediary asked to make him a 
substantial offer. It was at the time of his Daily 
Telegraph testimonial that an editor wished to get a 
brief article giving the champion's selection for a 
test, an amateur and a professional eleven. For 
those three sides, with a little ' padding ' as journal- 
ists call it, he was to receive twenty-five guineas. 
To my surprise, he positively refused. ' I might 
hurt the feelings of cricketers by individualizing,' 
was what he persisted with. In fact it seemed to me 
that he refused for fear of hurting some of those he 
did not include. 

He never was a very good golfer, but I am a worse. 
When the Stock Exchange played the Cricketers, I 
was drawn against him. He beat me in the morn- 
ing, I won in the afternoon. But thirty-six holes 
was not enough for him. With boyish zest he called 
out : ' Seven holes more for the championship, 
Challie/ and I won by a put. ' Five holes more for 
the championship/ came his breezy petition, and 
what a capital contest we had. In a bunker, he 
would say to his caddie : ' Bring me my cleever,' and 
out of his bag would be brought a dreadnought 
which was a cross between a pickaxe and a black- 
smith's affair. All who played against the Old Man 
will recall this punitive weapon." 

Reverting to cricket, 1891 proved singularly 
unsuccessful alike for W. G. Grace, whose average of 
19 was the lowest by far he had ever had, and for 
Gloucestershire, which suffered the most disastrous 

DR. W. G. GRACE 215 

season the Western county had ever known. W. G.'s 
cricket had been fairly successful until the beginning 
of July when he hurt his knee playing at Edinburgh. 
Unwisely he persisted with the game until compelled 
to lay up and, directly he was convalescent, had the 
misfortune to wrench his back at practice at Trent 

C. I. Thornton took a tremendously strong side to 
play the powerful Cambridge eleven for the benefit 
of Watts. W. G. Grace opened his account that 
summer with a sound 54, the highest score. For 
Rylott's benefit at Lord's, he played most brilliantly 
for 61 out of 87 which only took seventy minutes to 
score and comprised nine fours. It was by far his 
best effort in the summer, the attack he literally 
pulverized consisting of Attewell, Pougher, Peel, 
Barnes and Flowers. The London visit of his county 
yielded good personal results. At the Oval he took 
ii Surrey wickets for less than 10 runs apiece 
and batted stubbornly for 37 when no one else could 
look at Lohmann. Despite tremendous punishment 
from Sir Timothy O'Brien, he bowled so persistently 
at Lord's that he claimed 7 wickets for 97 runs and 
scored a creditable 38. Not until well on in August 
did he again exceed 50, but his 54 v. Surrey then was 
a capital performance when no one else made 18 
against Lohmann and Sharpe. On a rain-ruined 
pitch, in a sorely interrupted innings he showed 
profound caution for 72 not out in the return with 
Middlesex, but he was so slow that his effort occupied 
four hours and a half. Finally at Hastings for the 
South he proved successful each time with 54 and 
36, two capital efforts, whilst for the Gentlemen he 
had once more the honour of making top score, 
rather a barren honour on this occasion as the ama- 
teurs were dismissed for a miserably feeble 68, of 
which he accounted for 21. 

That winter W. G. Grace revisited Australia as 
captain of Lord Sheffield's team. Except that Arthur 


Shrewsbury and William Gunn declined to accept 
the terms offered, the side on contemporaneous 
form was representative, consisting of W. G. Grace, 
A. E. Stoddart, G. MacGregor, H. Philipson, O. G. 
Radcliffe with Lohmann, Abel, M. Read, Sharpe, 
Attewell, Peel, Briggs and Bean, whilst Alfred Shaw 
acted most successfully as manager. In his book, the 
last-named states that " the tour cost 16,000, and 
as the receipts were about 14,000 Lord Sheffield 
was about 2,000 out of pocket. Everything was 
done on a princely scale from the fee of the captain 
downwards." W. G. Grace before starting had 
expressed the opinion that the team would return 
home undefeated. " Possibly," wrote Alfred Shaw, 
" had they been less confident of success this ambi- 
tion would have been realized." After England had 
lost the first test match, " Felix " the Tom Horan of 
the 1882 tour in this country exactly hit the nail 
on the head when he said : " The Englishmen were in 
too great a hurry to get runs. Australia's batting 
was sounder if less showy." England lost the 
rubber of test matches, but of the eleven-a-side 
matches six were won and two lost. 

Mr. Dave Scott (" The Almanac ") writes : 

" There was an enormous crowd at Melbourne 
to meet Dr. W. G. Grace and the team when they 
arrived from Adelaide on November 25, 1891. 
Four-in-hand drags, decorated with Lord Sheffield's 
colours, drove them to the Association Rooms where 
Sir Robert Best warmly welcomed them, and, on 
rising to reply, the champion met with a tremendous 
reception which lasted a considerable time. In a. 
subsequent speech he said that like Lyons, our own 
mighty smiter, he was a doer not a talker : that was- 
his style. When the visitors were in the Town Hall, 
he was handed into the Mayor's chair, and proposed 
as Cricket Mayor for the year. He laughingly 
refused to be sworn, but added that he not only 

DR. W. G. GRACE 217 

would take his seat, but could comfortably fill it. 

W. G. Grace received 3,000 for the trip and all- 
expenses paid, the largest sum ever given to any 
cricketer, and he was worth it as an attraction in 
Australia. In fact cricket had become rather slow 
until his advent and he gave it a boom. 

W. G., talking to H. F. Boyle, told him how he had 
admired him hugely as a field at short mid-on, but 
that it was very dangerous and he had always 
expected he would get badly hurt some day. Boyle 
replied : ' Well, your brother E. M. stood just as close 
at point on the other side.' ' Yes,' assented W. G., 
* but he had more time to get out of the way than 
you had.' He told Boyle the best innings an 
Australian ever played in England was Percy McDon- 
nell's 82 out of 86 against the North, ' so worrying, 
on a fearful wicket too.' Boyle in test matches 
thought W. G. Grace worth five representative 
cricketers, so thoroughly did he rise to the big 

Wisden may be quoted : " Beyond everything 
else the tour was remarkable for the reappearance in 
Australia after an interval of eighteen years of Mr. 
W. G. Grace. When the most famous of all crick- 
eters visited the Colonies hi 1873, he was at the very 
height of his powers, and not a few of his admirers 
regarded it as rather a hazardous venture on his part 
to go out again at so late a period of his career. 
Events proved, however, that Mr. Grace's confidence 
in himself was not misplaced. Alike in the eleven- 
a-side matches and in all engagements he came out 
head of the batting averages. When we remember 
that he was in his forty-fourth year, and that his 
position as the finest batsman in the world had been 
established at a time when all the other members of 
the team were children, this feat must be pronounced 
nothing less than astonishing. It is true that in the 
matches against odds he was favoured with more 


than his fair share of luck, but, so far as we could 
gather from the detailed reports in the Australian 
papers, he was not more fortunate in the first-class 
fixtures than his colleagues. His only big score was 
159 not out in the first match against Victoria, but he 
played most consistently all through the tour and 
rarely failed to make runs." 

A large scrapbook, filled with Australian press- 
cuttings of the tour, furnishes vivid glimpses of Grace 
at the Antipodes. " W. G. finds his adipose tissue 
a decided burden in such a climate," was an early 
remark. He led off by putting South Australia in, 
having himself won the toss ; and a victory with an 
innings to spare was his reward. He cleverly caught 
out " the Grace of Australia," George Giffen. Later : 
" cheer after cheer from spectators and players 
greeted the erstwhile champion as he walked to the 
wickets. When he arrived, Grace was very much on 
the big side, but hard practice in a heavy sweater 
on warm days has got rid of a pound or two of super- 
fluous flesh. After playing cautiously at half a 
dozen balls, he fancied himself a young man again 
and essayed to lift a ball over the chains. Instead, 
he only skied it and Reedman, running at least 
thirty yards, put out his left hand a pretty big one 
and clutching the ball as it came straight down, 
made the most wonderful catch ever seen on the 

At Melbourne Grace compiled his most prolific 
contribution on the tour, 159 not out, carrying his 
bat through the innings of 284. He played in his 
finest masterly style, apparently treating all the 
bowling with ease and energy. His sole chance was a 
sharp one to the aboriginal Morris when he had only 
14 to his credit. There were ten boundary hits and 
the wicket was not playing anything like perfect. 
His own score exceeded either of the Victorian totals 
.and no one else made as many as 40 for either side. 

At Sydney, matters did not commence happily, 

DR. W. G. GRACE 219 

for Moses, the home captain, so strongly objected to 
Cotter being the English umpire that an hour was 
wasted in the wrangle with Grace before Alfred 
Shaw eventually was substituted. On going in to 
bat, W. G. astonished the public by turning round 
and smacking one of the fastest of Turner's deliveries 
to leg for four and repeating the same treatment to 
Callaway, who was as rapid, but this was too spirited 
to last and Turner soon caught him. In the matches 
against odds, three followed Grace surprised his 
opponents by insisting on playing twelve Englishmen 
and that they should all field. Against Boural he 
hit finely for 46, top score, and enjoyed his first 
bowling spell against Camden. Opposed to XVI of 
Melbourne, he was half an hour at the wicket for 4, 
but at Ballarat scored freely for 62. 

Tremendous interest was excited by the first test 
match, which, after a struggle of the keenest nature, 
was won by Australia by 54 runs. Grace gave a good 
example to his men, making 50, a capital display, and 
when set 213 to win, with Stoddart knocking up 60 
before they were parted. He was also responsible 
for catching Lyons and Bannerman, whose imper- 
turbable stonewalling was the factor that really 
turned the game, as he took the sting out of the 
attack. Against XVI of South Melbourne, W. G. 
ran into double figures off the three first balls he 
received, as they were despatched for three, four and 
five respectively, and he played an excellent 69. 
" He is in great buckle now," was a quaint contem- 
poraneous phrase. But against XX Melbourne 
Juniors, he came near spectacles, being bowled for 
one and badly running himself out before he had 

Never did the Australians play a finer uphill game 
than when they won the second test match by 72 
runs. But that is another story, as Rudyard Kip- 
ling used to write, and the subject of our theme 
chiefly came into note by bringing off five catches at 


point, Lyons in both innings, Moses, Bannerman and 
Callaway being his victims. He helped Abel to put 
up 50 for the first wicket, but obviously bothered by 
a " silly point," who walked nearly up to the bat, 
was bowled directly after this manoeuvre was tried. 
On fourth hands, he was much blamed for going in 
himself with only fifty minutes before the close of 
play on the fourth day. " He soon realized the 
wicket was too bad for steady play and sent one back 
to Giffen like a shot out of a gun, but the crack failed 
to hold the ball and a long-drawn dismayed ' oh ' was 
extracted from the crowd. But when he snicked the 
next ball into the wicket-keeper's [Blackham's] 
hands, there was a never-to-be-forgotten yell. Such 
a scene was never seen on any ground before. The 
air was thick with hats and for five minutes the 
cheering lasted." 

After some up-country matches, came the return 
with New South Wales, and Grace at once showed 
his calibre by practically monopolizing the run-getting 
at the start, making 45 out of 52 without a chance 
in splendid fashion. Again there was nasty friction 
about the umpiring. An appeal for a catch at the 
wicket off Grace's bowling was disallowed, and when 
he remonstrated with the umpire, the latter declined 
to proceed after the conclusion of the innings. After 
a vexatious delay the famous Charles Bannerman 
was substituted. There was a good deal of subse- 
quent correspondence and discussion. A holiday 
tour in Tasmania preceded the return with 
Victoria, won decisively by the English, W. G. Grace 
heading the score sheet with 44 in a dull game. 

Finally in the third test match, one of tremendous 
scoring, the visitors atoned for having lost the rubber 
by a victory with an innings and 230 runs to spare. 
Grace was in until after the century was hoisted, 
being yorked by R. M'Leod for 58. At the start he 
was much troubled by Giffen, but after lunch hit 
him for two fours off successive balls. It was a 

DR. W. G. GRACE 221 

faultless contribution, the third largest in an aggre- 
gate of 499, and bigger than any Australian indivi- 
dual innings in the game. On the morning of the 
third day, " the umpires gave it as their fiat that the 
wicket was unfit for play. This decision exceedingly 
annoyed Grace, who talked wildly of abandoning the 
match altogether. This, of course, was out of the 
question." He had previously expressed his strong 
disapproval of what is now the rule, namely the 
covering of the wicket. Later, when rain was fall- 
ing, he wanted to come in, but the umpires would 
not consent. On the fourth day, the last of the 
campaign, Grace, being told that Briggs and Attewell 
were tie for the largest number of wickets, put them 
both on and Briggs was the first to congratulate his 
rival on bowling Blackham. 

From a review of the tour may be cited : " The 
central figure throughout has been W. G. Grace. A 
wretched stroke in the first match gave emphasis to 
the idea which members of the team, as well as 
people in Australia, had, that he would be a failure 
with the bat. In the very next game, however, the 
veteran carried out his bat for 159. After that the 
tour was for him one unbroken series of successes, 
match after match he scored and kept his place 
easily at the head of the averages. He had great 
luck, for seldom did he make over twenty without 
being let off by the field two or three times. However, 
he got the runs on the slate, especially in the eleven- 
a-side matches in which he has remarkably fine 
figures [44 average, 448 aggregate]. The fast grounds 
suited his cutting, and that stroke must have given 
him at least a third of his runs, while he made a large 
number of catches at point." 

Among descriptions of Grace, countless though 
the number of such perpetrations be, few can surpass 
this Australian one : " He has got no older than 
when he was here half a generation ago, but he is a 
tremendous lot fatter. He is a very big, powerful 


man, with a bristly black beard nearly to his waist, 
somewhat slanting eyes, great muscular arms and 
huge hands. And, Great Scott such feet ! He 
could get 2 a week and his ' tucker ' merely to walk 
about in the grasshopper districts to kill off the pest. 
He bats as well as ever, his eye being as true and his 
arm as strong as in the days of old ; but when it 
comes to bowling, he is a bit off. He rolls up to the 
crease with a lumbering action like a Clydesdale 
colt, and delivers the ball with a cunning spin that 
wants watching, but he is not dangerous to careful 
batsmen. When fielding, he stands point, where he 
does not have to run, and any ball within possible 
reach is sure to find a resting-place in one of his vast 
carpet-bag-like hands." 

Had Lord Sheffield fulfilled his intention of taking 
another team out to the Antipodes in the following 
winter, it is more than doubtful if W. G. Grace would 
have accepted any invitation to repeat his visit. 

Three Sterling Seasons 


IT was appropriate that W. G. Grace's first re- 
appearance in England after his Australian trip 
should have been as leader of the team he had 
captained against the Rest of England and that the 
game should have been for the benefit of the manager 
of the tour. For the third time, unfortunately, the 
weather proved unpropitious to Alfred Shaw and the 
match at Trent Bridge resolved itself into a series of 
short spells between irritating showers. The voyagers 
had only been home a week and were absurdly out of 
form, with one solitary exception the veteran Grace, 
who, hitting with all the vigour and brilliancy of his 
youth, scored 63 out of 80 in just over an hour. He 
gave an easy chance on the off-side when he had 
made 8, but this was his only error. 

Emphasis must be laid on the fact that in this and 
succeeding seasons he was much handicapped by 
trouble with his knee, which not only affected his 
bowling, but prohibited short runs and at times 
obviously interfered with his batting. He bore the 
infliction without grumbling or the least semblance 
of fuss and never advanced it as an excuse for any 
momentary failure. The roughs with the smooth 
were all taken as part of the day's lot by the keen 
champion, but that ought to be recorded in his 



favour, for has not one wit described the amateurs' 
dressing-room as the grumbling box in excelsis ? 

At his earliest reappearance in London, for M.C.C. 
and Ground v. Kent, he did little, though he had 
several good yarns to tell of his Colonial experiences, 
but against a very strong Cambridge side he played 
well for 36. With Stoddart opening the innings for 
the Gentlemen, he put up 91 for the first wicket, 
when he obstructed his wicket, Attewell being the 
bowler, having scored 41 in less than an hour and a 
-quarter. Previously, whilst W. Gunn had been 
compiling a masterly 103, Grace enjoyed the satis- 
faction of being the only bowler who repeatedly had 
him in difficulties ; moreover, a palpable chance of 
stumping off one of his balls should have abruptly 
terminated the tall Notts man's stay when only 4 
were credited to him. In mid-September at Hast- 
ings, with his knee particularly troublesome, he 
batted uncommonly well for 54 for the Gentlemen, 
making some powerful drives off Lohmann and 

Otherwise his work was entirely on behalf of his 
county. He enjoyed quite a brilliant season, with- 
out any huge score, in nearly every match, batting 
with consistent skill and energy. It was thought 
that his Colonial experiences had increased his aggres- 
siveness in comparison with the unusually tame 
cricket he had shown in 1891. During part of the 
season he gave up going in first, finding that, if dis- 
missed cheaply, it affected the side unduly and not 
himself feeling confidence in his knee, which also 
caused him to be longer at the wicket for his scores. 
He was obdurate in not permitting young partners 
to induce him to take anything like a short run, and 
he often walked for a single what would have been a 
safe two had he been sound in limb. 

On both occasions he helped himself freely from the 
Middlesex bowling. At Lord's he batted very finely 

DR. W. G. GRACE 225 

for 47 and 72 not out, whilst at Clifton, with the edge 
already off the attack, he added 145 in something less 
than four hours with that patient bat R. W. Rice, his 
share being an errorless 89. This was not his largest 
effort for the Westerners, as against Sussex at Glouces- 
ter he punished the metropolitan attack in masterly 
fashion for 99. At that score he played several overs 
without an offensive stroke. Then, hitting out, he 
skied the ball and was caught and bowled by Bean. 
When he came in he glanced at the board and finding 
he was 99, shouted to his brother E. M. : " Ted, why 
ever didn't you tell me ? I could have scored off any 
of those balls." " Aye, aye," laughed the coroner, 
" and if I had told you, you would have been the 
first to complain." 

Against Yorkshire his scores were 53, 32 and 61, 
whilst his obdurate 43 not out cleverly saved his side 
from defeat at the hands of Notts, for he played out 
time under what had seemed decidedly adverse con- 
ditions. Though never noticed contemporaneously, 
it is a curious fact that his colleagues in Australia 
during the previous winter had a hand in his dis- 
missal on no less than nineteen occasions during this 
summer, though they were of course not opposed to 
him in quite a number of the matches in which he 
took part. 

The greater keenness of the old brigade was shown 
when Richard Daft, emerging from his retirement 
and playing as an amateur, came to represent Notts 
v. Gloucestershire at Clifton. On the second day 
rain fell in the interval, but the veteran captain 
turned out sharp. The Notts professionals showed 
no eagerness to resume play. W. G., under a large 
umbrella, walked over to their tent and threatened 
to report them to Lord's. Barnes replied they would 
turn out when the rain stopped. W. G. retorted that 
it was not raining. Barnes asked : " Why have your 
umbrella open then ? " 

It was in a conversation during this match that 



Richard Daft said W. G. Grace's style was more 
commanding than Parr's and his play of a safer kind 
than Caesar's. 

No more enthusiastic amateur ever played under 
W. G. than A. C. M. Croome, who has succeeded as 
completely as critic as at cricket. Therefore his 
impressions have particular value. Covering a wide 
space of time, he writes : 

" It is, in all human probability, due to W. G. 
Grace that I survive to write my reminiscences of 
him, for he saved my life at Manchester in 1887. I 
ran into the railings in front of the Old Trafford 
pavilion while trying to save a boundary hit, and 
fell on to the spikes, one of which made a deep wound 
in my throat. They had to send out for a needle 
and thread to sew it up and for nearly half an hour 
W. G. held the edges of the wound together. It was 
of vital importance that the injured part should be 
kept absolutely still and his hand never shook all 
that time. I should have known it if there had been 
any twitching of finger and thumb, for I was con- 
scious most of the time and the nerves of my neck 
and face were severely bruised. It would have been 
a remarkable feat of endurance under any circum- 
stances, but the Old Man had been fielding out for 
over four hundred runs and had done his full share 
of bowling. I have tv,o reasons for mentioning this 
incident. One is obvious ; the other is that it 
affords evidence of W. G.'s amazing stamina. 

His keenness matched his stamina ; he was not 
really happy during the progress of a cricket match 
unless he was either batting, bowling or fielding. 
Therefore it seems to me that if he could start in 
again, as a young man, on modern wickets, knowing 
all that latter-day science has discovered about 
footwork and the other tricks of batsmanship, they 
would not get him out three times in a fortnight. 
When W. G. was at his best, I was too young to 

DR. W. G. GRACE 227 

analyse the exhibitions which I admired with feelings 
akin to worship. But I may quote the opinion of 
the late R. A. H. Mitchell, who knew the game from 
A to Z. He once told me that W. G. never shifted 
his feet like ' Ranji,' the apostle of the new style, 
and it is notorious that he never made great use of 
the back-stroke, which has been perfected since his 
time. Consequently the slow bowlers had something 
of a chance against him, and when he was in his 
prime the fast men were made unnaturally difficult 
by the wickets. Supposing then that he had passed 
Ms early youth in learning the back-stroke, with its 
variations in the shape of on-side slides and pushes, 
let him go in on what Lord Harris calls these bread 
and butter wickets, and an intervention of Provi- 
dence would be required to shift him ; for it would be 
practically impossible to tire him out either mentally 
or physically. Perhaps it is all for the best that he 
flourished when he did. Then he created first-class 
cricket as a national institution. Now he might 
make it monotonous by the very perfection of his 
own play. 

I first saw W. G. at Cheltenham in 1876. The 
occasion was memorable to other cricketers besides 
myself, because he scored 318 not out against York- 
shire. Eight years later I made his acquaintance 
when I came to Bristol to play for the Colts against 
the county. The Australians were coming over that 
year and, before they arrived, had complained that 
English bats were of more than regulation width. 
Accordingly many players had had their bats gauged 
and, if necessary, reduced by planing. 

W. G. won the toss against us and came in bearing a 
massive-looking weapon, with which he proceeded 
to construct a very perfect hundred. By the way, 
I remember that he pasted one of our change bowlers 
cruelly, and, after hitting him for several fours, 
looked at a piece of paper on which the qualifications 
of the various colts were set out. This particular 


bowler was described as capable of breaking from the 
off or from leg at will, and W. G. showed the paper to 
his partner Frank Townsend was in with him 
saying : ' Frank o, I rather like those bowlers who 
break both ways to the boundary.' 

But that is a digression. To return to W. G.'s 
tree of a bat. The edges of it had apparently been 
planed and the Old Man impressed upon us that, 
after all, the edge of the blade was superfluous : 
so far as he was concerned the Australians could 
have it, for all he cared, all he w r anted was the middle. 
At lunch-time he was not out and left the ground 
to see a patient. While we were waiting for his 
return, Arthur Winterbotham, then in the Rugby 
eleven and entirely lacking in reverence for any one 
except his school captain, H. T. Arnall-Thompson, 
got hold of W. G.'s bat and a gauge. He found that 
the blade, even at its narrowest, would not begin to 
go through the gauge, and was proceeding to remedy 
the defect or rather, excess with a pocket-knife 
when Grace returned and strafed him. W. G. had 
merely taken a piece of glass and scraped from the 
edges of his bat the oil and dirt which had accumu- 
lated during the winter. 

People who are convinced that W. G. took advan- 
tage of his position to bustle umpires and otherwise 
get the better of opponents will welcome this story 
as calculated to prove them right. But they cannot 
have known him intimately. I am convinced that 
he never did a mean trick in his life at cricket or any 
other game. In this instance he was bringing off 
one of the elaborate and trifling practical jokes in 
which he delighted. He was absolutely correct in 
saying that it mattered not one little bit whether his 
bat had much or little edge ; and acting according to 
the spirit rather than the letter of the law, he saw no 
reason against introducing a bit of fun into a practice 
game. He was so plentifully endowed with high 
spirits that he could get amusement even out of a test 

DR. W. G. GRACE 229 

match. It is all nonsense to say that he habitually 
tried to bustle umpires. For one thing, the char- 
acter and experience of the men who stand in first- 
class matches doom such attempts to failure. Did 
not a famous cricketer once bring a hamper of game 
to Hastings as a present for the umpires engaged for 
the Festival and fancy himself secure from adverse 
l.b.w. decisions only to find himself caught at the 
wicket blob, twice in the first match and as he 
explained afterwards, in deep disgust : ' It was the 
merest touch.' 

The Old Man used to grumble, of course, when he 
was, as he thought, wrongly given out l.b.w., but my 
recollection is that, on the occasions when I heard 
him at it, he was convinced that he had touched the 
ball. He also used to appeal for l.b.w. very often 
when he was bowling. That was natural because he 
aimed to pitch the ball half on the leg-stump, half on 
the batsman's pads, and, after delivering it, ran 
wide on the off-side to a place whence he could hardly 
see whether his aim had been exactly true. He, if 
any man, was justified in trusting the combination 
of his eye and hand. I remember seeing him, at 
Cheltenham, give a practical lesson to Fred Roberts, 
our fast left-hander, in the art of bowling yorkers. 
He said the ball ought to pitch somewhere near the 
batting crease ; sent one down, and, when the ball 
came back to him, it had a large patch of whitening 
on it. 

Finally, no one can regularly bustle English first- 
class umpires, and the bigger the man who tried, 
the more they would be likely to go against him in 
doubtful cases. Of course, Grace used to look very 
surprised when an appeal was made against him : 
the cricketer, like an accused person in a law-court, 
is not bound, or even allowed, to give himself 
away. But I have met dozens of better actors than 
lie on the cricket-field. The cleverness of those who 
rub their elbows in simulated agony when caught 


at slip off their fingers was foreign to his nature. 

Not but what he delighted in ' spoofing ' a worthy 
opponent in a contest of wits. Once I happened to 
be standing in the middle of Clifton College Close 
admiring one of the best wickets ever seen, when 
W. G. and a rival of long standing came out to toss 
for choice of innings. Grace won and the other 
fellow said ' Damn ! ' 'I don't know so much about 
damn/ replied W. G., 'I'm not sure I shall not put 
you in. There's a little rise in the ground just there 
and your chucker might be nasty off it. However, 
I suppose we might as well bat.' Bat we did until the 
end of the day, W. G. getting into the nineties. 
The other side's fast bowler toiled most of the time 
from his wrong end and his bag was one wicket- 
keeper, who got several high-flyers from the little 
rise which was short of a length and well wide of the 
stumps. It is unlikely that W. G. expected a 
knowing old bird to walk into his trap, and certain 
he would not have set it for an unsophisticated young 
one, for instance the captain of an University team. 

Of course there were occasions in minor cricket, 
notably at Thornbury, when W. G. entered into a 
contest of wits with some one who challenged him 
to it. There is the historic Bitton v. Thornbury 
match, in which it was understood that the teams 
should be strictly representative. Dr. Henry 
Grace, who selected the Bitton side, turned up with 
himself, one other Bitton man Christian name Tom 
and nine members of the Gloucestershire and 
Somersetshire teams, one of whom when asked to 
play for Bitton parodied a famous question of W. G.'s 
and asked : ' Bitton ! What's Bitton ? Something 
to eat ? ' The Thornbury committee, namely E. M. 
Grace, had taken similar but rather less thorough 
precautions, and, having won the toss, went in to bat 
with W. G. The latter had no more than broken his 
duck when he was magnificently caught at deep 
square-leg by ' Tom,' who took the ball with one 

DR. W. G. GRACE 231 

hand just as it was carrying the wall which bounds 
one side of the ground. ' Well caught, Tom/ shouted 
Uncle Henry. ' No, no/ said W. G., ' I shan't have 
that. That's four to me. No, it's six, for it was out 
of the ground when he stopped it/ There followed 
some minutes of excited argument, and when it 
seemed likely that Uncle Henry, being the eldest 
brother and also having the better case, would 
carry his point, W. G. bethought him of the umpire 
and appealed to him. ' Oliver/ he cried, ' how often 
have I told you that if he catches me after the ball 
has gone out of the ground, it's six to me ? ' Before 
any reply could be made, Uncle Henry was shaking 
his fist in the umpire's face and saying : ' Be a man, 
Oliver, and give him out/ Out W. G. had to go, 
having failed to punish Uncle Henry for bringing a 
Gentlemen of the West team with two or three pro- 
fessionals to represent Bitton. Surely, in this case, 
his attempt to get round the printed law may be 
justified by the canons of the higher morality ? 

W. G. always was guided by the spirit rather than 
by the letter. Was it not he who allowed the Surrey 
reserve wicket-keeper to take Stedman's place at 
the Oval when the latter was injured in the first 
few overs of the match ? If he had not done so, 
his old friend Walter Read must have kept wicket, 
which would have been a double advantage for 
Gloucestershire, since he might have let some byes 
to start with and afterwards had to bat with sore 
hands. Another time, at the finish of a desperately 
keen match the other side wanted half a dozen runs 
when Roberts started to bowl the first ball of the last 
over. He had only taken a few steps of his run 
when the clock struck and he promptly stopped. 
' No, no, Fred, I shan't have that. You finish the 
over/ came Grace's order. Fred Roberts was not 
called upon to bowl all the balls necessary for that 
task, because the first was missed and just went over 
the leg-bail, the second, also pitched the perfect 


length under the circumstances he and Woof 
bowled like angels that evening went up mountains 
high and we were very pleased to see W. G. under- 
neath it. 

He was not going to stand out for his strict rights 
on one of the county grounds where the game is 
played pleasantly and where he and his men had met 
with generous hospitality on many occasions. That 
match took place at Canterbury and, after the first 
day's play, a dinner was given to celebrate the occa- 
sion : it was twenty-three years since W. G. had first 
appeared at Canterbury. After dinner, Lord Harris 
proposed the Old Man's health and said exactly what 
everybody wanted him to say. During the day, 
Leslie Wilson had put together a glorious hundred. 
I well remember starting from near the tree by the 
players' tent, where there is always a militia-man in 
full uniform, and trying with intermittent success to 
cut off his off-drives before they rattled up against 
the rails. W. G. was not out at the call of time, 
having 17 or 18 runs to his credit. When he rose to 
reply to the toast of the evening 1 , he was, I think, 
rather overcome by Lord Harris' speech and the 
other tokens of affection which he had received. 
Anyway, he was unable to get off the eloquent, and 
thoroughly edited, oration which had been prepared 
during the previous fortnight or so. What he did 
say was something like this : 

' I had got quite a nice speech ready for you, 
boys, but that Bishop there has put it clean out of 
my head. I think you'll have to have one of my 
Canadian speeches. I never saw much better batting 
than I saw to-day. But ' here came a dramatic 
pause and the laughter began to gather in the 
speaker's eyes ' I hope to see as good to-morrow.' 

We adjourned immediately for W. G. and Lord 
Harris to have a pursuit race blindfolded in their 
stockinged feet round a billiard table. It was not a 
great success because silence on the part of the on- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 233 

lookers is required, if pursuer and pursued are to 
locate one another by the sense of hearing. A subse- 
quent bout at tilting with the long rest between the 
same adversaries went better. 

It is a question whether W. G.'s success in minor 
matters was due to his self-confidence or to his luck. 
Certainly things used to come off for him in an 
amazing way. George Bean used to tell a story of 
possum shooting in Australia which illustrates this. 
He went out with the Old Man and had not had a 
shot all the evening. Suddenly W. G. said : ' There's 
one, George, in that tree.' George could not see it 
and said so. ' Never mind/ was the reply, ' have a 
go at the tree.' George fired and down came the 
possum ! 

Again there was the occasion when he and George 
Beldam were playing a four-ball match at golf round 
the Mid-Surrey course. Going to the sixth hole, 
both played their seconds simultaneously and the 
balls collided as they were crossing the bunker. One 
fell straight into the hazard ; the other went on and 
lay dead at the hole-side. Beldam walked straight 
into the bunker and picked up the one lying there, 
knowing it must be his and it was. People have a 
way of trying to adorn a good story and it is now said 
that after this incident occurred, members at the 
club-house knew about it immediately, so terrific 
was the noise of the shouting. 

W. G. did not believe in playing games silently and 
naturally was in his element on the curling-rink. 
Even county cricket matches, when he and E. M. 
were both engaged, were conversational. A North- 
country colt, playing against us for the first time, 
asked if he was expected to bat in a parrot-house. 
If he had been an older man there might have been 
trouble, but W. G. let him down easily in considera- 
tion of his youth. All captains of cricket teams deal 
gently with their young players, provided that their 
mistakes are not due to slackness. I am not sure 


that W. G. strained the quality of mercy more than 
others did, but he certainly had a peculiarly jolly 
way of saying the needed words of encouragement. 

My first innings in county cricket was terminated 
early by James Robertson, who made one come 
down the hill at Lord's much too quick for me, 
' Glad you had that one and not me/ was the phrase 
with which W. G. greeted me on my return to the 
pavilion. His words altered my whole outlook on 
life. Rightly or wrongly, I thought that if ever I 
was asked to play for the county again, I might find 
first-class bowling somewhat easier than at the 
moment I supposed it to be. But W. G. was much 
too wise a man not to temper mercy with justice. 
In that match I missed Stanley Scott in the first 
innings of Middlesex just after he had scored a 
hundred. It was as easy a catch as could be hit into 
the long field, and long field catches were easier then, 
before the new pavilion and the mound stand were 
built. That miss looked likely to lose the match. 
Middlesex made over three hundred, Scott 135 not 
out, in their first innings. We had some difficulty 
in saving the follow-on next morning : it had rained 
during the night. Then we sent back Middlesex 
cheaply and went in to get 180, which in the circum- 
stances was considerably more than 150. In the 
end, W. G., Gilbert, Frank Townsend and Willie 
Pullen made the runs for the loss of two wickets in a 
couple of hours. But when it was all over, W. G. 
pointed the moral to me, using two of his favourite 
phrases : ' We never hadn't ought to have been put 
to it/ and ' If we had lost, you would have been out 
of the family circle for a bit. 1 

We once had W. G. himself out of the family circle. 
There were three of us playing for Gloucestershire, 
who could still throw we never had less than six 
jerkers in our team. W. G. rounded on one of the 
three for not standing where he had been put at long- 
leg, when, as a matter of fact, he had his feet on the 

DR. W. G. GRACE 235 

mark which he had made to show him his place. 
By way of protest the three of us agreed to address 
the Old Man as ' Dr. Grace ' for two days. But we 
could not keep it up. He went round the senior, 
members of the team, plucking at his beard and 
asking what he had done to make these boys turn 
nasty. His distress was so genuine that we had to 
make it up and pretend that there had never been 
any vestige of a quarrel. W. G. was very popular 
throughout England, but we, who played with him 
more or less regularly, loved him." 

Resuming the chronological narrative of the cham- 
pion's prowess, 1893 showed an increase of average of 
4 runs per innings and of over 500 runs in aggregate. 
This was all the more satisfactory, as at home he 
was now once more pitted against the pick of those 
he had met in Australia. The weather was pheno- 
menally fine for the first half of the season and the 
muscles of the veteran seemed uncommonly flexible. 
" Even now he is the mainstay of English cricket 
when a real effort is required," was the observation of 
Lilly white. Fourteen batsmen made over a thousand 
runs that season, but only A. E. Stoddart and William 
Gunn surpassed him in aggregate and he was seventh 
in the year's averages. Against the Australians he 
was fourth alike in representative and all matches, 
his figures against them being much higher than for 
the whole summer. 

This tour of the Colonials was described frankly by 
Australian writers as a failure, despite the success of 
Graham, Sid Gregory and Lyons as bats and the fine 
work with the ball done at times by Turner, Hugh 
Trumble and George Giffen. Grace certainly set his 
mark on them. He led off in the very first match of 
then 1 tour, scoring an excellent 63 for Lord Sheffield's 
XI, the highest innings in the match. He and 
Shrewsbury put up 101 for the first wicket and he 
gave an impression of particular alertness, borne out 


during the rest of the summer. But who ever saw 
W. G. stale ? Out of form at times of course. Slow 
on occasions as years increased. But stale or 
lethargic never. 

A week later he had nearly two whole days hi the 
field whilst the Australians were scoring 503 off 
Gloucestershire and then, not wishing to bat with 
only an hour to play, kept himself back with dire 
results. A wet third day must have soothed his 
feelings. Travelling up to Lord's, to his confessed 
surprise he found his powerful M.C.C. and Ground 
side put in when Blackham won the toss. The Club 
total was 424, and after the visitors followed on, 
Lyons gave the sensational display that will never be 
forgotten by any one who witnessed it. When the 
home side went in to make 167, despite two interrup- 
tions by showers Grace and Stoddart made absurdly 
light of all the bowling, a performance the more 
remarkable because of the difficulty their successors 
experienced. As a Gentlemen's eleven could not be 
gathered, a return match was wisely substituted. 
W. G. was again at his best, making a beautiful 
75 and, when his men were set 175, helped Stoddart 
to put up 120 for the first wicket in the most confi- 
dent style. Blackham thought he played better on 
this occasion than almost any other. 

He had but a weak South of England eleven, but 
led off with an excellent innings of 66 and enjoyed 
the satisfaction of a 10 wickets victory. Practically 
the England eleven gathered at Nottingham for 
Arthur Shrewsbury's benefit could have done battle 
in a representative encounter. Grace won the toss 
and with Stoddart put up 114 for the first wicket, 
both showing excellent form. Then, owing to an 
injured finger, he had to stand down from the test 
match at Lord's, the first he had ever missed in this 
country. He made up for this in the second test at 
the Oval Maurice Read's benefit going in first 
with Stoddart, the pair being unseparated at lunch- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 237 

time and only being parted with 151 on the board, 
compiled in only two hours and a quarter. " Though 
the ball sometimes rose very awkwardly, Grace 
played a really admirable innings of 68, in making 
which he displayed some of his highest skill." In 
the third test at Manchester, he had the misfortune 
to run Stoddart out and this exercised a prejudicial 
effect on his own batting, his 40 being a very laboured 
contribution terminated by his being bowled off his 
pads. With only two hours and a quarter in which 
to get 198, he and Stoddart made no attempt to 
obtain the runs, but were obdurately unenterprising, 
his own share being 45. 

In both encounters he was of use for the Gentlemen 
against the Players. At the Oval, with a wholly 
unrepresentative side, after being missed at slip by 
Attewell before he scored, " his play was most 
masterly." He was first out for 57 out of 118 while 
in. In the next innings W. Lockwood and Mold were 
apparently unplayable. W. G. " was in constant 
difficulties to begin with and palpably missed by Alec 
Hearne when he had made 15. Afterwards the great 
cricketer was seen at his very best, giving the other 
members of his side some invaluable lessons in the 
method of playing fast bowling. He was a little over 
three hours getting 68 a high compliment to the 
quality of the bowling, and his defence was equal to 
anything he did during the season." At Lord's he 
put his legs before a straight ball from Attewell when 
he had compiled 32, and came in for sharp criticism 
as to his management of the bowling. Previously 
at headquarters he made his solitary century of the 
summer and his first in England since 1890, namely 
128 for M.C.C. and Ground v. Kent : an exhibition of 
faultless cricket, which included seventeen fours. 

For Gloucestershire as usual he was to the fore in 
the matches in London. Against Middlesex his 96 was 
a very fine display on a difficult wicket and he sum- 
marily finished off the game by dismissing the last 


three opponents for a dozen runs. At the Oval he 
showed superlative skill in 61 not out in an hour and 
three-quarters, the rest of his side only accounting 
for 44 between them, his form against Richardson 
and W. Lockwood being quite wonderful. In the 
return with Middlesex he played a capital 68 and a 
free 75 against Sussex. Against Yorkshire, with 
J. J. Ferris and O. G. Radcliffe out for nothing, he and 
Painter put on 124 in sixty-five minutes for the third 
wicket, whilst at Huddersfield with 19 he was actu- 
ally the only double-figure scorer in the innings of 74. 

In this match he showed a thoroughly sportsman- 
like spirit in the following incident. Peel, when 
batting, was so badly hurt by a delivery from Roberts 
that he was dancing about in considerable pain well 
outside his crease. One of the Gloucestershire men 
took advantage of this and was on the point of put- 
ting down his wicket when W. G. raised his hand and 
shouted " Stop " in stentorian tones. 

Mention of Fred Roberts recalls that, at Liverpool, 
a Lancashire batsman returned one very hard to him. 
He made a good try, but instead the ball put his 
thumb out of joint. He walked up to W. G. who in 
a moment pulled the joint in and sent him back to the 
dressing-room. It was all done so quickly and with- 
out fuss that it gave the Liverpool spectator who 
furnishes the anecdote " the impression that Grace 
was regarded as something of a father as well as their 
captain by his men." 

The great demands due to the many achievements 
of the subject of this volume have forced the editors 
drastically to exclude all but the barest reference to 
others save himself. An exception must, however, 
be briefly made in one instance if only to commemor- 
ate W. G. Grace's own deep affection for his offspring. 
In fact nothing was more charming than the paternal 
interest W. G. Grace took in his eldest son's cricket. 
W. G. Grace, junior, was in the Clifton eleven of 1891 
and two following summers. In his last year he 

DR. W. G. GRACE 239 

claimed 51 wickets for n runs apiece and averaged 
29 with the bat, but proved unsuccessful when tried 
for his county. Going up to Cambridge he scored 88 
in the Freshmen's match, making top score. How- 
ever, he received no University trial until Dr. W. G. 
Grace, coming to Cambridge with M.C.C., took his 
son in first with him. The young Cantab had the 
misfortune to be caught at the wicket without scoring 
and sustained a similar fate in the return match at 
Lord's, though in the second innings he obtained 54 
off the weary and weak University bowling when the 
Club aggregate was 595 for 7 wickets. This was the 
match in which W. G. Grace, senior, scored 196, the 
largest score he ever made at Lord's and the tallest 
in first-class cricket in 1894. 

Again in 1895, it was not until after his father had 
visited Cambridge he was self-confessedly anxious 
that his son should obtain his " blue " that W. G. 
Grace, junior, was given any opportunity. As a 
matter of fact he did better in the University match 
than in any other, for going in first he scored 40 and 
28, making two excellent starts in conjunction with 
Frank Mitchell. Next year his best contribution 
was 68 not out when the University visited Notting- 
ham for Sherwin's benefit, a fixture at which the 
attendance was miserably small in spite of the splen- 
did services the fine, stalwart wicket-keeper had 
rendered to his county. Against Oxford, going in 
first, W. G. Grace, junior, had the misfortune " to 
bag the unenviable brace." In the same month, 
at Trent Bridge, he was credited with his largest 
score for Gloucestershire, 62 ; but his average of 17 
that season was of course handicapped by his being 
dismissed without a run on seven occasions. 

Prior to this, in 1894 in a minor fixture at Reigate 
for his father's side v. W. W. Read's XI, W. G. 
Grace, junior, had obtained 148 not out. In the 
testimonial match to G. F. Hearne, a revival of the 
old-time Gentlemen of the South v. Players of the 


South, in a big scoring game he failed to make a run. 
Subsequent to his University career, his appearances 
in first-class cricket were but few, and his life figures 
are : batting, 80 innings 1,267 runs, 15*83 average ; 
bowling, 1,520 runs 41 wickets, 37*07 average. For 
Pembroke v. Caius, Cambridge, in 1896 he assisted to 
put up 337 for first wicket and for London County v. 
Erratics 355 for first wicket. He took all ten wickets 
for London County v. Bromley. It was curious that 
his father's son should have been such a stiff cricketer, 
but his batting was singularly lacking in mobility 
though he could hit hard. Always playing in spec- 
tacles, his bowling was fastish, rather plain, without 
much work on the ball. After leaving Cambridge he 
became a Master at Oundle, and subsequently at the 
Royal Naval College, Osborne. He died at Cowes 
in 1 905, from the results of an operation for appendi- 
citis, in his thirty-first year. 

J. A. H. Rogers in 1894 went in first with Green 
from Cheltenham for the Colts v. the County, 
Roberts sent down a bumpy ball which Green edged 
to Murch at first slip, who got it in his hand. As 
Green was walking away, Rogers nervously bade his 
partner appeal. Roberts at once rounded on Rogers 
with : " Wot's 'e got to appeal for ? 'E's out right 
enough." W. G.'s voice rang out at once : " What 
d'ye mean, Fred ? Mr. Rogers is quite right how's 
that ? ' " Out, sir," said the umpire. " Now, 
Murch," resumed W. G., " how did you catch 
that ? " " My fingers were on the ground, sir," was 
Murch's reply. " There you are, Fred," W. G. said, 
" Mr. Rogers was not far wrong." He then came and 
put his arm round the shoulders of the youngster 
a favourite trick of his and strolled up and down 
the wicket, saying : " You are quite right, Rogers, 
there are nine ways of getting out, and if there is 
any reasonable doubt whether you are out or not, 
always ask." That kind of thing endeared him to- 
mere lads as may well be imagined. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 241 

This was the match in which, contrary to the usual 
practice in such games, the county took first innings 
and " amused themselves on the first day by hitting 
the weak bowling of the colts to all parts of the field. 
E. M. Grace and Ferris, who went in first, scored 173 
for the first wicket, and the total was increased to 
438. After this severe outing it was not surprising 
that the disheartened youngsters gave a poor display 
of batting." 

W. G. Grace showed a falling off alike in aggregate 
and average in 1894 as compared with the preceding 
season, his respective figures being 1,293 and 29. 
He stood sixteenth in the averages, Brockwell, Abel 
and J. T. Brown exceeding him in the number of 
runs credited. Four times he failed to score, and on 
thirteen other occasions was out for a single-figure 
contribution, but against this must be set three 
centuries and five other efforts exceeding fifty. Once 
run out and twice l.b.w., he was bowled fourteen 
times and caught twenty-seven, only on four occa- 
sions at the wicket. 

With his son at Cambridge, he twice captained 
M.C.C. and Ground against the University and on 
each occasion made a hundred. The Light Blues 
were wretchedly weak in bowling and he took advan- 
tage of it. At Cambridge his 139 without a mistake 
occupied him for four hours and a quarter, Chatter- 
ton helping him to add 256. Lord's witnessed an 
amazing return game : the aggregate record for the 
ground, 1,332 ; the highest total made there, 595 ; and 
the highest innings ever scored at St. John's Wood by 
W. G., 196. It was also the biggest individual score 
of the season, but one made without effort owing to 
his domination over the feeble attack. Just to show 
how much there was in him, he then took 4 wickets 
for 33 runs. 

Of far greater importance was his notable work for 
the Gentlemen. At the Oval his 71 was a very 
admirable display which lasted two hours. He was 


bowled by a fine ball from W. Lockwood, which 
broke back and took his middle and leg stumps. At 
Lord's the wicket was so wet that a start could not 
be made until one. Grace and Stoddart forced the 
hitting in such successful fashion that 56 was put 
up in forty minutes for the first wicket. Grace was 
out at 119, for a noble effort amounting to 56. 
" Not for a considerable time, indeed, had the great 
cricketer played a bolder game on a pitch affected 
by rain." At Hastings his superb batting yielded 
131 in three hours and forty minutes, only two other 
scores in the innings exceeding 17. No fault whatever 
could be found with his play, which was marked 
throughout by consummate skill and power. One 
big drive off Alec Hearne pitched out of the ground 
and he hit fifteen fours. Early in his effort a ball 
from Mold glanced off his pads on to the wickets 
without removing the bails. 

There had been so much friction in the Gloucester- 
shire team in the previous year and even a spirit of 
mutiny prevailing, that W. G. Grace had written to 
the committee expressing his desire to give up the 
captaincy, but in the autumn had withdrawn his 
resignation. This season for the second time the 
county was at the bottom of the list and W. G. in no 
way maintained the standard of batting he had dis- 
played in the matches just mentioned. An 88 v. 
Sussex in an hour and fifty minutes, showing remark- 
able accuracy in placing the ball, early in May at 
Brighton proved his best county effort, whilst a fine 
61 at Trent Bridge redeemed an otherwise wretched 
display by the Westerners. On home wickets 49 v. 
Lancashire was his largest contribution. In extra 
matches, he played exceeding well on a soaking 
pitch for 52 against Warwickshire and gave the 
South Africans a good sample of his cricketing 
capacity, for after taking 9 wickets for 71, he scored 
129 not out, going in fourth wicket down. Previously 
he had met the visitors, whose fixtures were not 

DR. W. G. GRACE 243 

reckoned as first-class, on behalf of M.C.C. and 
Ground when " for some inscrutable reason he put 
them in after winning the toss, losing the match by 
ii runs." He himself was the most successful 
bowler, claiming 6 for 56 and 6 for 37, besides a 
first score of 47. 

C. J. Robinson, who formerly played for Somerset- 
shire, furnishes a string of reminiscences affording 
interesting side-lights on Grace's attractive disposi- 
tion : 

" Amid the avalanche of recollections sure to pour 
in, a few stories may appeal, if only to vary the 
narrative, and they come from personal experience 
of one who knew the Old Man ' at home ' as the 
schoolboys say. Indeed all my life I have been 
hearing of his doings and the following are a selection. 

W. G. was always no end considerate to young 
cricketers, and I well remember being upon the 
Clifton College ground when Gloucestershire was 
playing Surrey about the middle eighties [1888 
actually]. At that time Abel had worked his way 
more or less regularly into the very powerful side 
Surrey was building up. Hundreds did not come his 
way in those days as they did afterwards. [He had 
only made two in first-class cricket.] He had batted 
with plenty of confidence until he had gathered 
90. Then he proceeded to scrape and potter about 
for an unconscionable period, when he finally reached 
96. W. G. said : ' Bobbie, I'll give you one just 
to put you out of your misery/ True to his word, 
he lobbed him up a divine full-toss well on the 
leg-side. Abel unfortunately did not get fully hold 
of it and hit straight into the extra-safe hands of 
J. H. Brain. Said W. G : ' I'm sorry, Bobbie, but I 
could not have done more to help you get that 

In a Gloucestershire and Somersetshire match at 
Cheltenham, an interesting discussion arose as to the 


various distances to which sundry individuals had 
thrown the cricket ball. On our side was a very fine 
thrower indeed, the Oxonian V. T. Hill. W. G. well 
informed as usual happened to know he fancied 
himself muchly in this department. Said he : 
' Look here, Vernon, I'll bet you a sovereign you 
don't throw over a hundred yards three times follow- 
ing, with and against the wind ; to toss for two 
throws with the wind.' The mighty left-handed 
hitter appeared to think this very soft business and 
promptly accepted the challenge. Moreover, he 
luckily won the toss. I was appointed stakeholder. 
Only a light breeze was blowing and that from the 
west, so the first throw was towards the chapel and 
a magnificent one it was too : we chained it : 119 
yards 2 feet. I turned to W. G. and said : ' It's all 
up with your sovereign.' He was most emphatic in 
his reply : ' No, he won't throw a hundred the other 
way. J Hill, looking brimful of confidence and 
particularly pleased with what he had just done, 
proceeded to discharge throw number two. In due 
course it was chained, the result being 91 yards 
dead. W. G.'s shout of delight might have been 
heard half a mile away, it was such a stentorian 
bellow of triumph, and then, promptly, came the 
demand : ' Here, give me those two sovereigns.' 

Few people realized that W. G. was one of the 
shrewdest observers though he said so little, and far 
more capable of looking ahead and taking a 'broad 
view than many who boasted they did, but he never 
said so. Here is a curious case in point. It was the 
morning of a county match on a home ground. The 
two regular bowlers Roberts and Murch each good 
for a hundred overs if they had to be delivered 
were both in readiness as a matter of course. 
Imagine the surprise of everybody to find that Grace 
left them both out. The result was that the oppo- 
nents helped themselves to well over four hundred 
runs and the draw was inevitable after the first day. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 245 

I happened to meet W. G. soon afterwards and asked 
him how it was he had decided not to play the pair, 
as none of his other bowlers could be described as 
wicket collectors just then. ' Well/ he said, ' to 
tell you the truth, the wicket was too good and it 
didn't look like rain, so I thought us bad bowlers were 
just as likely to get them out as the decent ones. 
And besides,' he added in a burst of confidence, 
* they were both getting a bit " uppish " and will be 
all the better for standing out of a match.' He was 
thinking of the prospects of Gloucestershire, not of 
the mere game of the hour. 

In one of the matches between eleven Robinsons 
and Grace's XI, the respective totals were 147 and 
185. That difference was accounted for by a trick. 
The doctor's eleven had batted first. Directly after 
they came out to field, a note was brought out to Dr. 
Henry Grace, the eldest brother, then getting ' a 
very stiff 'un.' After glancing at it, he asked to be 
excused and hoped to be back soon something was 
murmured about a professional engagement and 
in the meantime could he send out a substitute. Of 
course no objection was raised and out came Jack 
Board, then quite a youngster, who could sprint 
quite a bit in those days. The bowling was not of 
a high order, W. G.'s knee was troubling him, and 
there was a deal of attempting to find the boundary. 
Time passed and no one seemed to notice that the 
substitute was fielding in the deep at both ends. 
If ever a man saved fifty runs in an innings, Board 
did upon that afternoon, and it meant just the differ- 
ence between victory and defeat for the Robinsons. 
At the close, from a quiet corner emerged Dr. Henry 
Grace, who said he had been comfortably watching 
all the time and warmly complimented Board upon 
his brilliant fielding. The secret of the note was 
out, and how W. G. roared with laughter at its result. 

He seldom allowed a young cricketer to slip through 
his hands, who subsequently proved of value to any 


other county. But in Nichols, born at Fishponds in 
Gloucestershire, he missed a professional who, if 
persevered with, would have been as much service to 
the county of the Graces as he was afterwards to- 
Somersetshire during a considerable period. W. G. 
tried him originally upon several occasions I think 
he played as an amateur but he had no luck. The 
climax came against Surrey, on a real Oval wicket. 
W. W. Read carted Nichols unmercifully, and after 
that he was relegated to the long field of all places 
(he could only field at short-slip at any time). To 
make matters worse, everything seemed to come his 
way, including four catches, all of which he dropped. 
It was too much for W. G. who said : ' George, you 
shall never play for us again/ and he never did. 
Was not H. T. Hewett on fifty occasions at least 
grateful for that decision ? 

We have all of us been a bit irritated in our time. 
There was one occasion when Grace was more than a 
little put out. The match was between Gloucester- 
shire and Somersetshire. Vexatious stoppages of 
play on account of showers sometimes provoke 
spectators. They had no cause to grumble on one 
particular afternoon. A most unpleasant drizzle 
set in. We were batting and expected W. G. would 
suggest an adjournment. Not a bit ; he kept 
pounding away at the pavilion wicket for the best 
part of two hours. With a wet ball the bowlers 
were handicapped, but the game proceeded until 
nearly five when Grace said : ' I think we might as 
well stop for a bit ' cricket automatically ceasing 
for the day, Lionel Palairet having a hundred odd to 
his credit. Next morning our innings ended twenty- 
two minutes before the luncheon interval. The sun 
was shining with great power and the wicket was 
uncommonly nasty, just such a one as our captain 
H. T. Hewett revelled in seeing his opponents 
' scraping upon.' The ground-man asked W. G. 
which roller he should put on. ' Never mind/ 

DR. W. G. GRACE 247 

was the reply, ' we are not going on before lunch.' 
Now our skipper overheard the remark and had no 
intention of missing a golden opportunity. But 
W. G. was a bit off colour that morning, so I was 
selected to break to him the fact that we wanted 
the usual ten minutes play according to rules, before 
the luncheon interval. W. G. was obdurate, said 
he would not proceed, and, upon being pressed, 
added : ' This is a poor return for our bowling to you 
nearly three hours in the rain yesterday afternoon.' 
I replied : ' I don't think that was any fault of ours.' 
He then told the man to put the light roller on, and 
we fielded for eight minutes. At luncheon, the tele- 
graph board read 0-2-0 and W. G. was not garru- 
lously amiable during the meal. We had won by an 
innings before night. 

I happened to be on the county ground at Bristol 
after W. G. had returned from playing in 1896 in the 
opening match of the Australian tour for Lord 
Sheffield's XI, in which if I remember rightly he made 
60 or 70 in each innings [actually 49 and 26]. He 
called me into the dressing-room and said : ' Look 
here what Ernest Jones did to me on a wicket that 
was real fiery and he was sending them down at a 
rare pace.' He had six or seven huge blue and black 
marks all round the region of his heart. I asked : 
' How in the name of fortune could you stand such 
punishment ? ' ' Well,' he replied, ' he did rap me a 
bit sharp, but I don't mind even now how fast they 
bowl to me; it's the slow ones I don't like, I can't get 
at them as I used to.' Remember this man was 
within two months of completing his forty-eighth 
year ! Never shall we meet his parallel in our time.' r 

Most Marvellous of All 


NOTHING W. G. Grace ever did, nothing any 
other champion at any other game ever 
achieved, evoked such widespread and well-deserved 
enthusiasm as his batting in May, 1895, when he was 
in his forty-eighth year and so burly in figure. The 
marvellous cricket he showed thus early in that 
summer, at an age when men unborn at the time 
of his earliest supremacy were now at their zenith, 
presents such an unique and phenomenal source of 
perennial interest that the tale of achievement may 
be told at some length. In that one month he scored 
1,016 runs as the result of nine completed innings, 
his average then being 112. He himself quietly 
remarked that he had made a thousand runs in a 
month before, but never at the beginning of a season. 
In the middle of April, he had given a foretaste 
of his form by compiling 101 in three hours and forty 
minutes against XXII County Colts and then retiring. 
Though it did not look a very great feat the number 
of men in the field must be borne in mind. He 
himself invariably began practising in March, and 
net practices on the bleak county ground were often 
somewhat Arctic recreations. He would always 
insist on " you young 'uns " putting on sweaters 
directly they had finished batting and bowling. 


DR. W. G. GRACE 249 

Now and then he would break off the cricket for a 
few minutes and organize some races or other 
thoroughly warming pursuit. 

As a contradiction to superstition it may be men- 
tioned that his opening and lowest score in that 
memorable May was 13. This was for M.C.C. and 
Ground v. Sussex. Next time he did not let off the 
county so lightly, for his second effort yielded 103. 
When his score was 14, he was missed by K. S. 
Ranjitsinhji usually a splendid field in the 
slips and, as he piled up his runs, the veteran kept 
turning and chaffing him about this. He only took 
an hour to make his first fifty, but his second came 
with far greater rapidity. His boundary hits were 
as strong as ever and his defence immaculate. What, 
however, pleased him far more was that he clean 
bowled the future Jam Sahib of Nawanagar with 
the very first ball he ever sent down to him. A. N. 
Hornby put him on when the Cantab had compiled a 
superb 150, on his initial appearance for the county. 

Against Yorkshire, Grace's contributions were 
comparatively moderate, 18 and 25, but then com- 
menced the succession of big efforts. It was further 
notable that this his hundredth century in first-class 
cricket who will ever approach this again ? should 
have been such a mammoth one as 288. The scene 
was Bristol and the match Gloucestershire v. Somer- 
setshire. The visitors had scored 303 L. C. H. 
Palairet and Gerald Fowler getting 205 for the first 
wicket and that evening W. G. played out time with 
38 to his credit. Next day he was at the wicket 
(ninth out) until past five. " During all this while 
he met the attack with the utmost ease and confi- 
dence. Never did he appear in a difficulty and 
seldom indeed did the ball go from any part but the 
middle of his bat. For five hours and twenty 
minutes he was busy knocking the leather all over 
the field and he made his runs at the astonishing 
rate of over fifty an hour. More than this, no chance 


marred his great display, and the power he put 
behind his strokes may be seen when we say that his- 
magnificent innings included thirty-eight fours and 
eleven threes. He had never previously made a 
hundred runs in an innings on the ground, and it 
was the third best he had ever made in eleven-a- 
side matches. It goes without saying that the won- 
derful batting feat of the champion created the 
greatest enthusiasm. Spectators flocked to the 
ground from town and suburbs when the news of his 
stand got abroad, and after he had passed his second 
hundred a ' magnum ' was taken from the pavilion 
and drunk at the wickets. Quite a smart fall of 
snow fell and a piercing cold wind prevailed through- 
out the day." C. L. Townsend stayed with him for 
two hours and a half, adding 223 for third wicket 
and being unlucky to narrowly miss his century. 
He writes : " This was the one and only time I ever 
saw him flustered, namely when the last runs were 
needed for his hundredth hundred. Poor Sam 
Woods could hardly bowl the ball and the Doctor was 
nearly as bad." 

For Gentlemen of England v. Cambridge Univer- 
sity, Grace and Stoddart actually put up the first 
hundred under the hour, altogether scoring 130 for 
the first wicket, of which the champion's share was 
an aggressive 52. He subsequently captured half a 
dozen opponents. 

Next came the county match in which Grace took 
the largest share possible, being in the field for 
every ball of a sensational game, and scoring 330 runs 
for once out. Apart from his marvellous prowess, 
if that can be detached from any aspect of the 
encounter, this was the earliest instance in first-class 
cricket in England of a side winning after having 
to face a first innings of over 400. It was fifteen 
years since Grace had been at Gravesend and he com- 
menced by fielding out whilst Kent compiled 470, 
of which Alec Hearne made a splendid 155. To this 

DR. W. G. GRACE 251 

Gloucestershire replied with 443, out of which W. G. 
was accountable for 257, the only other scores over 
20 being Painter's 40 and S. A. P. Kitcat's 52. 
Beyond one chance at the wicket when he had com- 
piled 80, Grace never made a slip. It is, of course, 
very easy to repeat that " it was faultless, but realize 
what it meant for a man approaching forty-seven to- 
bat for seven and a half hours against four such 
excellent bowlers as J. R. Mason, Alec Hearne, 
Walter Wright and Martin as well as useful changes, 
and persistently prevent the ball coming within 
reach of eleven men eager to catch him. His placing 
was the despair of the Kent captain F. Marchant. 
As Walter Wright remarked : " There is only one 
thing the Doctor has yet to learn and that is to- 
hit 'em up high." " Right up to the finish he 
retained his freshness and hit twenty-four fours. 
Nothing finer than this innings could be imagined." 

At lunch-time on the third day only an innings 
apiece had been played, but then Kent collapsed 
before Roberts and Painter. So with an hour and 
a quarter in which to make 104 runs, W. G. Grace 
went in a second time and, by the grand cricket he 
showed, fairly pulled the match off from his own bat. 
Fifty was hoisted after thirty-five minutes play and, 
mainly by severe and well-timed punishing shots 
from Grace, the runs were made in an hour for the 
loss of but one wicket, his share being 73 not out. 
Needless to state, he was vociferously cheered on 
returning to the pavilion. It may be added that, 
judging from the correspondence evoked by the 
preparation of this biography, this master-achieve- 
ment alike in skill and endurance seems more than 
any other single game to have been appreciated by 
his many admirers. 

The revival of Surrey v. England for W. W. Read's 
testimonial match gave the spectators an oppor- 
tunity of testifying their admiration for what Grace 
had just done, namely twice exceeding 250 in ten 


days. But after he had scored 18 rather freely, Tom 
Richardson clean bowled him. As the game ended 
in a single innings victory for his side, this afforded 
him no further opportunity to bat, therefore on the 
evening of May 29 his aggregate was 847. Hence 
it seemed out of the realms of possibility that the 
general desire for him to score a thousand runs in 
May could be realized. 

The dramatic element, however, was still to come 
in. Gloucestershire brought a weak side to Lord's 
to oppose Middlesex on May 30. But Grace not 
only won the toss but, by scoring 169, compiled 
1,016 within the month. " Language fails to give 
adequate expression to the feeling of admiration 
and astonishment. There would seem to be no limit 
to his capabilities and his run-getting powers are as 
great as in the seventies." This innings was not 
comparable in pace or in punishing force with some 
just dealt with. He was playing well within himself, 
obviously desiring to complete his tremendous task. 
At luncheon he had only made 58, and for some 
time afterwards E. A. Nepean puzzled him with his 
slow deliveries, which presented obvious difficulties. 
Then he seemed to regain his old efficient command 
and, scoring aggressively, looked like getting the 
coveted 153. At 149, Nepean gave him a friendly 
long-hop on the leg-side, and as it reached the boun- 
dary the crowd raised a succession of cheers. He 
had a splendid reception after he was out, and at 
the drawing of stumps there was an additional 
demonstration in front of the pavilion. 

A national shilling testimonial was promoted by 
the Daily Telegraph, which amounted to 5,281 95. id. 
In forwarding a cheque for the amount, the late Sir 
Edward Lawson (afterwards Lord Burnham) wrote 
to Grace : 

" I take occasion to congratulate you upon the 
sustained progress and happy issue of this movement 

DR. W. G. GRACE 253 

in your honour, originated also in honour of the 
great national game of which you are the most 
eminent, accepted and popular representative. The 
subscription, commencing amid the hearty good-will 
and approbation of all the manly and open-air-loving 
section of our community, has broadened and deep- 
ened during its extraordinary and unparalleled 
course, until it has become, by the variety and signi- 
ficance of the countless names included in it, an 
epitome of English life in all localities and latitudes. 
You yourself must have observed, with pleasure and 
with pride, how widespread and, indeed, universal, 
was the desire thus generously evinced to celebrate 
at once the national pastime, and your own honour- 
able proficiency in it. It is impossible, in less space 
than the list itself has occupied, to attempt any 
compendium of so all-comprehensive and astonishing 
a catalogue, which indeed confers of itself as I am 
sure you will agree a reward and a recognition 
beyond anything which money could supply. 

Such a magnificent demonstration, sir, is due in the 
first place to a warm appreciation felt throughout 
the land and the Empire for your own high and 
worthy qualities as an English cricketer. It com- 
prises, however, above and beyond this as cannot 
possibly be doubted a very notable and emphatic 
expression of the general love for those out-of-door 
sports and pursuits, which free from any element 
of cruelty, greed or coarseness most and best develop 
our British traits of manliness, good temper, fair 
play, and the healthy training of mind and body ; at 
the same time giving pleasure and amusement to the 
greatest possible number. In this aspect I permit 
myself to regard the progress and result of the 
' National Shilling Testimonial ' as a manifestation, 
by classes and masses alike, of their abiding prefer- 
ence for wholesome and honest amusements in con- 
tradistinction to sickly pleasures and puritanical 
gloom, thus conferring upon you, sir, the happy 


distinction of a substantial personal tribute, which is 
at the same time a public approval of your salutary 
example to the youth and manhood of your time. 
I have only to add that, in handing you this 
cheque, I pray for you long and prosperous years to 
enjoy and maintain such well-deserved popularity, 
and, in a word, I wish you throughout all the phases 
of this game of life, a ' good innings.' ' 

It was desirable to reproduce a letter in facsimile 
from W. G. Grace in the present volume and none 
could possibly be found more suitable than the one 
in which he acknowledged receipt of this great 

The Committee of M.C.C. also inaugurated a Grace 
Fund, to which was credited the sum of 249 35. gd. 
collected by The Sportsman. The total amount 
collected was 2,377 2S - 6d., which sum, less 
21 85. 10^. expenses, was handed to the famous 
cricketer. W. G. addressing the President of M.C.C. 
wrote : 

" I heartily thank you and the M.C.C. Committee 
for the part you took in raising the handsome testi- 
monial which has been given to me. As long as I 
live, I shall remember, with feelings of pride and 
gratitude, the kindness of my many friends and 
others who do not even know me. I know that I 
have not at all adequately expressed my indebted- 
ness to all, but I hope that I have made it plain that 
I am not unmindful of all that has been done in my 

The Gloucestershire county local fund, which 
reached 1,436 35. 8^., was paid direct to Grace, who 
thus by these three separate collections received 
9^73 8s. 3<f. 

Innumerable tributes too poured in, alike from the 
Prince of Wales, from personal friends and from other 
admirers as well as in the columns of the Press. He 
was entertained at dinners both at Bristol and at the 

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DR. W. G. GRACE 255 

Sports Club. On the latter occasion he protested 
he had been brought there under false pretences as 
he was told there would be no "speechifying." He 
was a bit of a liar himself, but never mind that. On 
the menu was this verse : 

Now the hundredth hundred's up, 

W. G., 

You have filled the bowler's cup, 

W. G., 

You have filled his cup of sorrow, 

Solace he of hope can't borrow, 

For you'll do the like to-morrow, 

W. G. 

Naturally the rest of Grace's achievements that 
summer were less consistent and sensational, but 
he produced several other delightful innings. Going 
from Lord's to Brighton, a huge Bank Holiday crowd 
had the delight of seeing him play splendidly for 91 
and 25 terminated by a wonderful right-handed 
catch by G. L. Wilson at third man. No less than 
nineteen thousand people passed the turnstiles at 
the Oval on the two days that Gloucestershire met 
Surrey, and Grace's small scores (17 and 10) caused 
great disappointment. However, he afforded ample 
compensation at Lord's for M.C.C. v. Ground v. Kent, 
when, on a crumbling wicket, he compiled his fifth 
century of the season, going in first and being ninth 
out with 125 out of 298 during a stay of three and a 
half hours. Considering the state of the ground no 
one could have anticipated any one making such a 
score and the spectators were greatly excited. At 
Birmingham, where he was twice caught at the 
wicket, his 43 was rattled up in an hour. 

The Jubilee of I Zingari was celebrated by a match 
at Lord's between that club and the Gentlemen of 
England, one of the most delightful games ever 
played. The Gentlemen were much the weaker, but 
they won in triumphant fashion. Set 172 to win, 
Grace and A. Sellars actually made them without 


being parted in the remarkably quick time of an 
hour and three-quarters by most exhilarating batting, 
the bowling consisting of F. S. Jackson, H. R. Brom- 
ley-Davenport, A. G. Steel, L. C. V. Bathurst and 
A. E. Stoddart. It seemed as if Grace could not get 
a century before the runs were hit off, but he settled 
all doubt by hitting a four and then a huge five, thus 
making 101 not out. He next turned his attention 
to the two Universities, particularly weak in bowling, 
and treating them very lightly scored 47 and 72 off 
them respectively. 

Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's was fought on a 
confessedly defective pitch. But this troubled Grace 
little. The Players having made 231, he and Stod- 
dart played out time with 137 registered for no 
wicket. Their partnership eventually realized 151. 
" Grace stayed in till the total reached 241 and for 
the first time since 1876 played an innings of over 
100 for the Gentlemen at Lord's. Taking into con- 
sideration the quality of the bowling and the state 
of the wicket, we are inclined to think this was the 
finest innings he played during the season. He was 
at the wicket a little over four hours," and never 
gave a vestige of a chance nor an apparent mishit. 
The bowlers against him were Richardson, Mold, 
Peel, Attewell, Davidson and Tom Hayward. In 
that first innings of the amateurs, the other nine 
only made 48 between them. 

For the next five weeks, Grace's only score of 
importance was a fine 70 in the return between 
Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. Then, against a 
sorely depleted Notts side, he batted admirably for 
119 out of 254 on a very difficult wicket. Consider- 
ing nobody else made forty, his achievement was 
indeed remarkable. Finally at Hastings for South 
v. North he ran up his ninth century of the season, 
a capital 104. With Stoddart he opened the innings 
in great style, the pair scoring 150 in less than 
two hours, Mold, Briggs, Pougher and Davidson 

DR. W. G. GRACE 257 

hardly sending down any maiden overs until 
they were separated. Amid all the bewildering 
plethora of runs the veteran had amassed, his own 
head was quite unturned by all the praises so 
deservedly lavished upon him. He took success as 
imperturbably as failure, but he enjoyed it fervently 
in his quiet way. 

R. W. Rice, often associated with Grace in long 
partnerships, sends what he terms " one or two- 
random recollections " as follows : 

" Somewhere about 1895, when MacLaren was at 
his best, batting against Gloucestershire at Old Traf- 
ford, he trod on his wicket when placing a ball to leg. 
Taking no notice, he started to run. I can still hear 
the Old Man's plaintive : ' Aren't you going out, 
Archie ? ' and the confident reply : ' No, no, I am 
not.' Umpire's decision on appeal that the Old 
Harrovian did it after the stroke was completed 
not out. 

W. Me G. Hemingway was a better scholar than 
most of us and was often to be found in the dressing- 
room with his back to the window reading some 
Greek play. The Old Man was all for the rigour of 
the game, and when the other once complained of 
his own temporary lack of success, replied very 
solemnly : ' How can you make runs, Bill, when you 
are always reading ? I am never caught that way.' 

Two of us were in the out-field very close together, 
on each side of the screen at Cheltenham when Kent 
were playing. A skier went up, which one of us 
could certainly have reached. The ustaal thing : both 
started, then stopped and the ball fell uncaught. 
W. G. said nothing to us, but we heard coming 
down the wind a growl : ' Some of these young 
fellows are on the wrong side of the ropes.' W. G. 
forgave everything but slacking or what he took as 

I was sitting next the Old Man at Old TrafEord 


when a certain colt made his first appearance for the 
county. The first over he had from Mold produced 
three fourers. W. G.'s slow smile of satisfaction was 
good to see as it broadened after each boundary, and 
then : ' Well, we've found something this time.' 
We had ; the novice was G. L. Jessop." 

H. D. G. Leveson-Gower, who had a very deep 
affection for W. G. Grace, was the youngest member 
of M.C.C. who ever sat on the Committee of the club, 
a fact of interest in a book produced under their 
auspices and for which he has shown characteristic 
enthusiasm. He writes : 

" I think it would be presumptuous of me to allude 
to dear old W. G. except from the personal aspect. 
Probably others will have written that an outstand- 
ing feature of this greatest cricketer or so it appears 
to me was his encouragement to young cricketers. 
Individually I can say that he almost made one 
think one was a cricketer of something approaching 
his own calibre, until reflection made one realize the 
hiatus between. Moreover, he was so extraordin- 
arily kind in little ways, such as signing his auto- 
graph on charity bats and in coming to play in mere 
village matches. I recall once when he played for 
me on a bitterly cold day on a wicket which he 
described afterwards as ' an undertaker's pitch/ 
Those episodes leave precious memories difficult to 
convey in printers' ink. 

When I first had the honour of making his acquaint- 
ance I think it was at Hastings I was introduced 
to him as ' Shrimp,' a nickname that has stuck to me 
closer than my baptismal ones. That same evening 
he called me' Snipe.' No one else ever has on any 

Coming from such a source, his advice on cap- 
taincy was always invaluable. I remember his tell- 
ing me, just before I left for South Africa in charge of 

DR. W. G. GRACE 259 

the England team, never to mind criticism. He 
added : ' No captain was ever worth his salt unless 
he was criticized. When you take on a captaincy, 
you take on the criticism it entails as well/ No 
truer remarks were ever made, not only about cricket, 
but about other responsibilities in life. 

Possibly others may have suggested that as a 
captain W. G. adhered to what prevailed in his young 
days. I recollect that he altogether disapproved of 
the modern idea of giving a mere change bowler 
the first turn with the new ball. ' No, no, start your 
innings with your best bowler. Give him the best 
chance. It's the best way to bowl out the best bats 
on the other side.' 

When I was one of the selection committee for 
choosing the England side in test matches against 
Australia, W. G. advised me that two left-handed 
batsmen ought to be selected. ' There are so many 
good bowlers who cannot bowl well to left-handed 
batsmen. And as any one batsman may fail, why 
not have a second left-handed one to bother the other 
side ? ' 

One anecdote, possibly only amusing to those 
who personally knew the two individuals. It was 
Surrey v. Gloucestershire at the Oval and the visitors 
were batting. Some favourite of W. G.'s was given 
out by a doubtful decision. Up rose the champion 
in the front seats of the pavilion : ' Shan't have it ; 
can't have it, and I won't have it,' he shouted. 
W. W. Read was fielding out in the deep just in front 
of the pavilion and with that famous smile of his 
replied : ' I am afraid, W. G., you've got to have it.' 

Well do I remember how the dear Old Man 
cordially congratulated me on my captaincy of the 
Oxford eleven in the University match of 1896. 
It was the more generous because his own son had 
played for Cambridge and had failed to score in 
either innings. But that made no difference to big- 
hearted, big-bodied W. G. He could criticize pretty 


acutely on occasion, so praise from him was well 
worth having. And he was not backward with it, 
though no power on earth would make him flatter or 
say he thought something good which he really 
thought ' tosh.' He was intrinsically sincere, inevit- 
ably individual, a delightfully unique personality." 

Strangely enough, the succeeding season, 1896, 
furnished little anti-climax so finely did Grace con- 
sistently play, not even omitting some phenomenal 
achievements. It was a busy year and three batsmen 
exceeded the two thousand aggregate, K. S. Ranjit- 
sinhji compiling 2,780, Abel 2,218 and W. G. Grace 
2,135. The latter was fifth in the year's averages, 
only the Jam Sahib, Captain E. G. Wynyard, W. 
Gunn and W. N. Roe being ahead of him. 

The Australians enjoyed a most successful and by 
far the pleasantest tour yet experienced. W. G. 
Grace, as before, met them on many occasions. As 
had been the case in several preceding tours, he 
played the first ball the Colonials delivered, on this 
occasion scoring a capital 49 and 26 for Lord Shef- 
field's powerful side, besides bowling out Iredale 
and S. Gregory. Once more the Gloucestershire 
attack was punished unmercifully by the visitors, 
and though the county also cut up badly with the 
bat, W. G. saved his men from absolute discredit by 
making 27 and 66. He batted soundly, if without 
feature calling for special remark, for 66 in the first 
test match, at Lord's. Lameness kept him out of 
some engagements, and before the conquering test 
encounter at the Oval an official statement, arising 
from the observations in the Press as to the allow- 
ance made for the expenses of amateurs, intimated 
that " during many years on the occasions of Dr. 
W. G. Grace playing at the Oval, at the request of 
the Surrey County Committee, in the matches Gentle- 
men v. Players and England v. Australia, Dr. Grace 
has received the sum of 10 a match to cover his 

DR. W. G. GRACE 261 

expenses in coming to and remaining in London 
during the three days. 

The actual game, which had been preceded by 
other and more sensational differences, showed W. G. 
Grace to advantage. He profited by the state of 
the wicket to play a crisp 24, worth many a seventy, 
and won the match by his judgment. The Austra- 
lians went in to make in. Richardson began with 
a maiden, but seeing the wicket did not suit him, 
Grace at once took him off, substituting Peel, though 
the latter had never found his length in the first inn- 
ings. The Yorkshireman took 6 wickets for 23 runs 
and the Colonials were out for 44, thus giving the 
Mother Country the rubber. Soon afterwards, Glou- 
cestershire made the smallest score, 17, ever recorded 
in England against the Australians, out of which 
W. G. was responsible for 9. Finally, at Hastings, 
for the South, he contributed by far the highest 
individual effort, 53, hitting M'Kibbin, Trumble 
and Giffen with great severity. 

In each of the Gentlemen v. Players he exceeded the 
half-century. At the Oval the amateurs won by a 
wicket, largely due to his fine judgment, for he carried 
out his bat for 53 which the quality of the bowling of 
the professionals Richardson, J. T. Hearne and Loh- 
mann forced him to take two hours and a half to 
obtain. At Lord's too his 54 was mainly instru- 
mental in the victory by 6 wickets. He was badly 
missed by Storer at short-leg off the first ball, but, 
on a wicket by no means perfect, made no other 

His chief displays of the year were, however, for 
Gloucestershire. Against the weak bowling of 
Sussex, he proved more aggressive than on any other 
occasion, scoring 243 not out at Brighton and 301 
at Bristol. Obviously he was in his very best form 
each time, contributing much more than half the 
total. The remarkable effort on the home ground 
was not only the highest of the season, but the third 


best he himself had ever made in first-class matches. 
" On the first day he scored 193 out of 341 for three 
wickets and he was ninth out with the total at 548. 
He was at the wickets for eight hours and a half and 
so grandly did he play that he gave no actual chance. 
His great score was made up by twenty-nine fours, 
sixteen threes, twenty-seven twos and eighty-three 

Against Lancashire at Bristol, Grace batted very 
finely for 51 and 102 not out. When the last man 
Fred Roberts came in, his captain needed 16 to com- 
plete his century, but somehow the professional 
managed to stay for half an hour without making a 
run. Grace gave a masterly display, notable alike 
for restraint and range of scoring, for he placed his 
shots all round the wicket, Briggs for once being 
entirely non-plussed. Immediately in succession 
came a splendid innings of 186 against Somersetshire. 
He went in first and was last out, giving only one 
chance, playing throughout with great vigour, his 
effort including no less than twenty-five fours. By 
a coincidence, his two long partnerships with C. L. 
Townsend and Board each amounted to 133. In the 
earlier match with the neighbouring county, he had 
quite baffled opposing batsmen with his slows, 
claiming 10 wickets for 82 runs, much to his own 
glee. An excellent 70 against Yorkshire, absolutely 
free from blemish, and a capital 64 against Kent were 
also innings worthy of his reputation. 

Playing at the Oval for Gloucestershire v. Surrey, 
W. G. stopped a tremendously hard cut which made 
a bad wound in his hand and he took no further part 
in the game before the interval. At lunch he com- 
plained of the way in which the ball was made, declar- 
ing it could not be properly constructed inside 
because it was too hard. The Surrey captain K. J. 
Key assured him that at the Oval all match balls 
were kept for two years to season them properly. 
The argument was getting animated until W. G. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 263 

asked to have the ball cut open. This was agreed 
to and E. S. de Winton, who was playing, was 
deputed to operate. Upon unwinding the interior, 
he drew out a piece of newspaper upon which was the 
date of a month in that very year. Great was the 
glee of W. G. That night from the bottom of the 
long flight of stairs at Fenchurch Street Station, he 
shouted to a friend at the top how he had scored off 
" the Surreyites," and he went on talking of this for 
many a day afterwards. 

Except when his appeals against batsmen for 
obstruction were given against him, most people will 
concur that W. G. Grace was only once conspicuously 
ruffled in the field. That was at Lord's in the test 
match in this year, when the Colonial tearaway bowler 
E. Jones bowled the first express ball of the game 
deliberately short and it shot through W. G.'s beard 
hard to the screen for four byes. The veteran 
looked volumes, was so seriously discomfited that 
he took some time to recover his composure and then 
only after having made some observations to the 
wicket-keeper, while the twelve thousand spectators 
positively hummed, so general were their audible 
comments. Ever afterwards Grace was wont to 
speak of Jones as " the fellow who bowled through 
my beard," but the only immediate effect was to 
induce him to lay on extra hard to the subsequent 
deliveries. He scored 66 and Jones that innings 
only could claim J. T. Brown's wicket at a cost of 
64 runs. 

Lord Harris, commenting on the foregoing, 
observes : 

" I saw the incident. W. G. was not quite quick 
enough. The ball grazed his beard, touched the top 
of the handle of his bat, ricocheted far over the 
wicket-keeper's head and went to the screen for four. 
I did not notice his being at all upset, and I was told 


that the remark he made to Jones as he ran up the 
wicket was : ' Whatever are ye at ? ' 

In dealing with W. G. Grace's cricket in 1897 
nothing can so admirably analyze it as the excellent 
criticism in Wisden which must be quoted in full. 
" The appreciable drop in Mr. Grace's figures is not 
in any way attributable to any falling off in skill. 
It was brought about by a strange lack of judgment 
during the early part of the season. For several 
weeks the great batsman laboured under the impres- 
sion that it was imperative upon him to make runs at 
a quick pace. The result was, that though playing 
several bright innings he frequently lost his wicket 
at a time when he might have been considered well 
set, and so long did he continue to play in a manner 
quite foreign to his normal methods as to create a 
feeling of dismay. However, a finely played 66 for 
the Gentlemen against the Players at Lord's appar- 
ently convinced him of the error of his ways, as from 
that point he recovered his patience and returned 
to his proper game. No sooner had he done so than 
he at once resumed his old place among batsmen, 
again becoming one of the most dependable run- 
getters in the country. He thus gave proof that 
when content to take his time over his runs and 
thoroughly play himself in, he was still a great bats- 
man, and it was unfortunate that he should, through 
some misapprehension as to his powers, have allowed 
May and June two months of hard wickets to slip 
without making one really big score. Still, on the 
whole, he had a thoroughly successful season, obtain- 
ing 1,532 runs with an average of 39. This record, 
of which the best of batsmen might well be proud, 
becomes remarkable indeed when one reflects that the 
great cricketer is now in his fiftieth year." Actually 
he was thirteenth in the batting averages and in aggre- 
gate seventh, the only amateur surpassing him in 
both tables being K. S. Ranjitsinhji. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 265 

With regard to the foregoing stricture, it is inter- 
esting to quote the opinion he gave to a representa- 
tive of the Birmingham Post in June, 1895 : " I think 
young batsmen as a rule play too slow a game. They 
should hit more and not play so steady. Of course 
some batsmen are not made for hitting and it would 
be fatal for them to try it ; but, on the other hand, 
good free cricket should certainly be encouraged." 
True words applicable to the game at every epoch. 

H. B. Daft, in 1897, elicited from W. G. Grace the 
remarkable opinion that fast bowling was not so good 
then as it used to be. Yet the fast bowlers then in- 
cluded such masters of the ball as S. M. J. Woods, 
C. J. Kortright, F. S. Jackson, Richardson, W. Lock- 
wood, Hirst, Mold and Woodcock a phalanx most 
people who saw them bowl might think had never 
been surpassed. 

Grace's highest score until July was 79 for M.C.C. 
and Ground v. Oxford University at Lord's, he and 
G. J. Mordaunt putting up 140 runs in an hour and 
twenty minutes for the first wicket. One of the 
players in the match is the authority for the follow- 
ing anecdote. The ground bowlers were proving too 
much for the University, so that wickets were falling 
fast. Either owing to his well-known kindly desire 
to encourage youthful players or to his equally 
known pleasure in doing a bit of trundling, he made 
an excuse to put himself on to bowl, with the result 
that things looked much better for Oxford. Now the 
amateur who tells the tale had a fiver on that M.C.C. 
would beat Oxford, and as runs began to come he 
viewed the change of bowling in a very different 
light to W. G., who was amused and pleased at the 
game becoming alive again. After deliberation and 
as the crisis was approaching, he went up to W. G., 
told him of his wager and asked if he would not like 
to share it with him. W. G. caught on at once and 
turning to the most effective professional, he said : 
" I think you've had long enough rest ; better have 


another turn," and M.C.C. came out victorious. 

Seldom have so many as thirty thousand spectators 
paid to witness Gentlemen v Players at Lord's, and the 
game proved worthy of the attention it attracted. 
Grace gave a superb demonstration of his batting 
powers by playing a magnificent innings of 66 against 
Richardson when such cricketers as A. E. Stoddart, 
J. R. Mason, J. A. Dixon, K. S. Ranjitsinhji, and F. S. 
Jackson were completely baffled by his deliveries. 
Further he proved of service by getting out Chat- 
terton and Storer at a critical period, but it was 
generally considered that the Players were consider- 
ably assisted towards their victory by his putting on 
F. G. Bull at the pavilion wicket. At the Oval for a 
poor side he scored 41 and took the wickets of Abel, 
W. G. Quaife, Baker and Storer for 108 runs. In the 
mid-September encounter at Hastings, his stand 
with F. Mitchell was the only one of importance in 
either innings of the amateurs. 

For Gloucestershire, which enjoyed a much more 
successful season, Grace's most remarkable efforts 
were a century in each match with Notts. He 
played a wonderfully good 126 at Trent Bridge, but 
his 131 at Cheltenham was even better, for " he was at 
the wicket for four hours without giving a chance and 
scarcely made a bad hit." He followed up his bat- 
ting triumph with a remarkably successful spell with 
the ball, capturing 6 wickets for 36 runs, five being 
caught and one stumped. Against Sussex his 116 
was without a mistake, but it was a slow innings. It 
was curious that the other " centurion " in this 
match should have been the other veteran W. L. 
Murdoch. Grace had one of his escapes from bag- 
ging a brace against Surrey. Richardson had 
bowled him for o. On the second evening most of the 
cricketers, professionals as well as amateurs, were 
the guests of a Gloucestershire host. At the close of 
the festivities, the last-named patted Richardson 
on the back, saying, " Do your best to-morrow, Tom, 

DR. W. G. GRACE 267 

but the Old Man must not get a pair." The Surrey 
fast bowler was the most good-natured of men and 
W. G. speedily relieved the anxiety of his friends, 
but Richardson claimed 12 wickets for 54 runs in 
that match. According to his custom, Grace distin- 
guished himself against a touring side. The Phila- 
delphians not only saw him score 113, but 7 of their 
side were his victims at a cost of 91 runs. For the 
benefit of Fred Roberts, he made the largest contri- 
bution, 51, against Middlesex, and once more his 
bowling proved baffling to Somersetshire. A month 
earlier at Liverpool he had punished Lancashire with 
two singularly bright contributions of 47 and 37, 
whilst for South v. North at Hastings he headed the 
list each time with 36 and 30. 

As an instance of Grace's originality in criticism, 
it is of interest to quote the reply he made that 
winter to C. J. Robinson, who asked him his opinion 
of Rhodes as a bowler, the Yorkshireman having 
done wonders with the ball in the previous season. 
W. G. said : " Well, I didn't think much of him the 
first time I saw him, but when I came to have a 
good look at him, I found he kept the ball out of 
sight such a time and didn't seem to let you have a 
look at it until it was almost upon you. I never 
knew a bowler hide it longer." 

P. F. Warner, keenest jf observers as well as 
keenest of cricketers, writes : 

' To me W. G. was a colossus. He was practically 
cricket and a great era of the game ended with his 
retirement. There never was such an outstanding 
figure, either metaphorically or literally, associated 
with the game. If one was going past the Oval on the 
outside of an omnibus, well as we know the Surrey 
men it might not be possible to identify them in the 
field, but W. G. would have been unmistakable at 
any distance within range of sight. 

It is a curious fact that when I was a little boy, I 


saw him bat fully half a dozen times at Lord's before 
I watched him make twenty. The mere fact of 
recollecting such a circumstance and thinking it 
worth recording is in itself an amazing tribute to his 
skill. The earliest great innings I saw him play was 
in that splendid partnership with A. Sellars against 
I Zingari, and if I had never seen him get another 
run I should still have realized that he had no rival. 
For my own sake I am thankful to add that I wit- 
nessed many a long score obtained in his great 
fashion, more by force than by style, but with incom- 
parable skill. 

Once at Rugby at the nets I was bowled by that 
wily coach old Tom Emmett with a ball that seemed 
dead on the leg stump but broke and took the off 
bail. ' Never mind, sir/ said Tom, ' that was a 
sostenuter.' ' A what ? ' I inquired flabbergasted. 
' A sostenuter, sir. Why, what else could you call 
it ? I remember bowling W. G. first ball with just 
such a one in Gentlemen v. Players at the Oval, but/ 
laying his finger against his nose in that inimitable 
characteristic fashion of his, 'he made 90 in the 
second innings/ 

The first time I played against W. G. was my 
second match for Middlesex in 1894. It was at 
Bristol, and I remember him coming on to the ground 
in his white flannel trousers with a cut-a-way coat 
and the curious half topper black hat he was addicted 
to. Directly he was within hail of us, he sang out : 
' Eight o'clock, Webbie : don't forget it's down the 
well/ referring to the fact that we were all dining 
with him that night eight Middlesex amateurs 
and that he was icing the liquid refreshment. In 
that match I was missed at point by E. M. off C. L. 
Townsend. ' You ought to have caught it/ shouted 
W. G. instantly, and there was a furious brotherly 

That reminds me that when W. G. was last in 
Australia and Alec Bannerman won a test match by 

DR. W. G. GRACE 269 

occupying seven hours in scoring 91, the Englishmen 
came thronging so close round the wicket that a 
fellow in the crowd shouted, ' Look out, Alec, W. G, 
will have his hand in your pocket in a minute/ 

W. G. was always awfully nice ; his manner had 
a particularly affectionate way about it which was 
very charming. At lunch at a county match in 
Gloucestershire, if a youngster was playing in the 
visiting side, he would invariably call to him by 
name : ' How are you getting on ? Are they looking 
after you properly ? ' Just one of those kindly 
attentions which set a shy colt at his ease. What a 
jolly good judge of a young player he was ! And he 
had a good word for a tryer on the opposing side. 
Once at Lord's, he was cleverly annexed by an 
unknown running wide from cover-point, who after- 
wards became an England cricketer. As he trudged 
away to the pavilion, W. G. said : ' You caught it well, 
you caught it well.' 

He could be a trifle inconsiderate as captain some- 
times. Once for M.C.C. v. Australia, Wrathall was 
fielding long-on to J. T. Hearne and long-off to C. L, 
Townsend bowling at the other end, which meant he 
had to sprint practically the length of Lord's bet ween 
each over. So I suggested to W. G. that I should go 
into the country at one end to save him. ' Not a bit. 
Do him good. Harry is lazy,' said the Old Man. 
Now if ever there was a hard-working energetic pro- 
fessional it was Harry Wrathall. But that day the 
champion was hard on him : an exception to his 
customary thought fulness for others. 

Batting with him for the Gentlemen or for M.C.C. 
in his veteran days, one had to put a curb on one's 
natural propensity to cover ground quickly between 
the wickets, for his knee was often bad and what 
would have been a reasonable three he walked for a 
single. He could pound down the pitch at a fairly 
good pace for a long run, but it was turning and 
starting again which bothered him. 


When I toured in Australia, it was after his day 
at the Antipodes, but everywhere when people talked 
cricket, W. G.'s name always came up. I remember 
at a dinner in South Australia, in a speech, some one 
spoke of George Giffen as the greatest cricketer that 
had ever been seen. In my reply I said that we at 
home regarded W. G. as by far the greatest cricketer 
the world had ever known, but thought George 
Giffen the W. G. of Australia. This was heartily 
applauded and of course it was true, for, splendid 
cricketer as Giffen was on Australian wickets, he was 
never a very good player on a wet English pitch. I 
think the Old Man cared less about the state of the 
ground when he was going to bat than any prominent 
batsman I ever met, with the possible exceptions of 
Victor Trumper and Hobbs. 

Of all the feats I witnessed by W. G. the one that 
most surprised me was a bowling one. It was in 
1902 he was then nearly fifty-four against the 
Australians when Trumper was at his very best. 
The Old Man took the ball and I thought we were 
in for it. Instead the Australians were 5 for 29 ; 
marvellously baffling too, not a pinch of luck to help 
an analysis of which Tom Richardson would have 
been proud." 


Grace's Jubilee and the End of his County 


THE Committee of M.C.C., with their usual fore- 
thought, selected the date of Grace's jubilee 
for the decision of the annual match between Gentle- 
men and Players at Lord's. The fact of the cham- 
pion on his fiftieth birthday being able to play with 
and in skill to equal cricketers some of whom were 
not born when he first appeared in the greatest 
match of the year, thirty-three summers before, 
caught the public imagination to a remarkable degree. 
Eulogies were as general as when he had scored his 
thousand runs in May three seasons previously. A 
crowd exceeding twenty thousand gathered at St. 
John's Wood and many more had to be excluded 
from lack of space. "On all sides the Doctor was 
congratulated and wherever he went people were 
pressing round to wish him very many happy returns 
of the day." 

The game itself proved worthy of the occasion and 
every man who took part in it was presented by the 
M.C.C. with a medal struck in honour of the event. 
" Feeling no doubt the honour of having been 
chosen on such an occasion, the cricketers of both 
sides played quite as keenly as though the match had 
been England and Australia, and as a natural conse- 
quence a superb display was given." The Gentle- 



men were represented by W. G. Grace, A. E. Stod- 
dart, F. S. Jackson, C. L. Townsend, A. C. MacLaren, 
J. R. Mason, J. A. Dixon, S. M. J. Woods, E. G. 
Wynyard, G. MacGregor and C. J. Kortright. 
The Players selected were Shrewsbury, Abel, W. 
Gunn, Storer, Tunnicliffe, Brockwell, A. Hearne, 
Lilley, W. Lockwood, Haigh and J. T. Hearne, 
Wilfred Rhodes being twelfth man. Ultimately 
the latter were the victors by 137 runs. 

Grace himself was handicapped both by lameness 
and a severe blow on the hand, but he took a memor- 
able share in the match, though he did not field 
throughout. On the first day he effected a very 
much-needed separation of Tunnicliffe and Storer. 
Next morning at noon he went in first with A. E. 
Stoddart. Though he limped painfully, yet his 
defence " was of the most stubborn and determined 
character, and though some thought he might have 
been caught at the wicket when he had made a single, 
he gave his admirers a batting display which lasted 
an hour and a half," his score of 43 being terminated 
by a catch by Lilley off Lockwood. On the last 
day when the amateurs had to obtain 296 in less than 
three hours, he did not intend to bat, owing to his 
bruised hand. When with J. T. Hearne irresistible, 
he was breaking the ball back six or seven inches 
7 wickets had fallen for 77, Grace himself went in r 
his appearance being greeted with tremendous cheer- 
ing. Two more wickets fell at 80 and with an hour 
and a quarter to play Kortright came last. A thrill- 
ing partnership followed which created unbounded 
excitement. Despite constant changes, both batted 
steadily, making runs where they could, but intent 
on saving the game if possible. Grace was playing 
with extreme confidence and Kortright showed judi- 
cious restraint. The minutes passed away and hopes 
of a draw began to grow. At four minutes to seven 
the batsmen were still together, when Lockwood 
went on for a final effort from the pavilion end. 


From a photograph taken at Lords, July 18th. 1898. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 273 

Kortright faced him and cut the third ball high over 
Haigh's head at cover-point, but the Yorkshireman 
ran back and brought off a good catch, thus winning 
the game about two minutes from time. The spec- 
tators rushed across the grass and cheered the two 
batsmen to the echo, especially their hero Grace, 
who was undefeated though so physically handi- 

He was entertained at a large dinner at the Sports 
Club, with Lord Alverstone then Sir Richard 
Webster, Q.C., M.P. in the chair. In proposing his 
health, the future Lord Chief Justice ended with : 
" In days to come he trusted that W. G. from his 
fireside would be able to contemplate with satisfac- 
tion his cricket days, in which he had not thought of 
himself, but set an example, and would die as he had 
lived, admired of the British nation as a straight- 
forward type of an Englishman." 

W. G.'s reply was not lengthy, but to the point. 
He said he had not deserved half the kind things Sir 
Richard had said of him and regarded it as the 
greatest honour of his life, though he wished he could 
have called upon " Stoddie " to make his reply. He 
had written out nothing of a speech and therefore 
would not detain them three or four hours. His 
remarks would be few and short. When he was 
pleased his remarks were always all right and when 
he was not well, they were all wrong. That night, 
however, they were all right, though he could not 
claim that he was quite so kind to colts as their 
chairman had tried to make out. He remembered 
when, in a match at Lord's, they brought up an unfor- 
tunate colt, who had taken a few wickets in a match 
the week before. His first ball went over the garden 
by the old armoury, the second followed suit, the 
third and fourth went into the pavilion and they never 
bowled that poor fellow again. He was only too 
pleased to captain such a side as he had had under his 
command at Lord's that day, and their score had, 



moreover, been secured by hard work all round. 
Had the Players not won the toss he would venture 
to say they would have been a beaten side that night. 
Of course Grace's jubilee proved a theme for dozens 
of minor poets, and to make a selection of their out- 
pourings might seem invidious. However, as J. P. 
Kingston was so actively associated with county 
cricket in Northamptonshire, the fact of his being an 
excellent bat may be regarded as an additional 
reason for quoting his ode. 


Well done, Leviathan ! We send thee here 

A birthday greeting for thy jubilee ; 
Unparalleled in scoring, now this year 

Another half hundred brings to thee. 
Straight as thy bat has been thy course in life 

And still thy force unwasted forward plays ; 
Thy splendid vigour with decay holds strife, 

And Time, that runs out all, with thee delays ; 
Thy fame has spread wherever bat and ball 

Ring with their joyous clatter o'er the field. 
On this thy birthday may no shadow fall 

And may it still a further hundred yield ; 
Thou art the centre of a million eyes 

Who love one summer game and sunny skies. 

L. S. Wells, who often played with the champion, has 
sent a stirring jubilee song, which originally appeared 
in the Pall Mall Gazette. 

Ah, he has seen where the grass is green, 

A host of warriors strive 
Since the days of old when a stripling bold, 

He first stepped out to drive ; 
When of those who play with him here to-day 

But a few had learnt to creep, 
Though some, may be, on their nurse's knee 

Were lulled with a song to sleep. 

His comrades then are grey-haired men, 

Whose fading eyes grow dim, 
As they call to mind what is left behind 

When they are watching him. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 275 

Yet his arm, they vow, is as lusty now, 

His eye is just as keen, 
His reach as long, and his nerve as strong, 

As when he was but nineteen. 

Since he treats each ball as he treated all 

In the days that are no more ; 
For he cracks the slow of any " pro " 

To the boundary rails for four ; 
Shooters he stops, cuts wide long-hops, 

They come to him all the same, 
While he lets very few of the fast ones thro' 

When he plays his forcing game. 

So every friend at his innings' end 

May it be a distant day 
Will remember still the champion's skill, 

How he got that yorker away ! 
Nor shall we forget, with a keen regret, 

When his glorious course is run, 
To be proud that he was born to be 

Athletic England's son. 

In that jubilee year of his, Grace scored 1,513 
runs with an average of 42, standing ninth in a 
summer of prolific scoring and eleventh in aggregate, 
with three centuries to his credit and, on occasions, 
a remarkable revival of success with the ball to boot. 

He had indulged in some effective practice against 
XXII County Colts, scoring 146 not out in five hours 
and twenty minutes, whilst in the first match of the 
season at Lord's, M.C.C. and Ground v. Sussex, his 65 
was a long way the largest and best effort in the 
match. For the Gentlemen at the Oval he contri- 
buted 50, patiently defending for over two hours, 
whilst at Hastings he headed the score sheet with 58 
for the Rest of England v. Stoddart's Australian XI 
and with 40 was second highest for Rest of England 
v. Surrey and Sussex. 

A prominent personage exercising much authority 
at the Oval writes that W. G. was always very 
anxious that the Gentlemen should put up a good 


fight against the Players, which, having regard to the 
calibre and experience of the latter, became in his 
later years a matter of real difficulty, especially as it 
was the custom to give a chance to some young 
amateur who had shown ability and promise under 
less trying ordeals. One day it was communicated 
to the selection committee that W. G., who was going 
to captain the side, had sent up a polite and friendly 
intimation that he hoped amateurs would not be 
chosen who were out before they went in a remark 
of course directed against " nervy " cricketers, of 
which there were a good many. 

Gloucestershire enjoyed a remarkable advance, 
taking third place in the championship table with 
a percentage of fifty, being only below Yorkshire and 
Middlesex. Grace with an average of 47 and an 
aggregate of 1,141 was far ahead of the rest of the side 
in batting. His greatest achievement was in the 
one-wicket success over Essex at Leyton. He began 
with an astonishing piece of bowling on the easiest 
batting wicket in the country, for he captured 7 
wickets for only 44 runs, clean bowling H. G. Owen 
and Charles MacGahey, catching P. Perrin off one 
of his own deliveries, inducing C. J. Kortright to 
obstruct, A. J. Turner and F. G. Bull being 
secured by the wicket-keeper Board, and Walter Mead 
being caught in his favourite trap. He followed this 
up with a marvellous 126 out of 203 whilst he was in. 
Not only was there no chance in this display, but the 
attack of C. J. Kortright was absolutely terrific. He 
was banging ball after ball down with almost reckless 
virulence, but Grace never seemed perturbed even 
though severely knocked on the hand several times. 
He shaped at the really dangerous bowling with 
perfect coolness, and in the second innings his 49 
was again by far the best and largest contribution. 
A good deal of feeling ran high between the great 
batsman and the fast bowler in this game, but 
thanks to the friendly offices of C. E. Green all ended 

DR. W. G. GRACE 277 

happily, and ten days later the Essex amateur pro- 
vided the remarkable stand with the champion at 
Lord's, which has already been described. 

Though very lame Grace was batting for six and a 
half hours at Trent Bridge for 168 against Notts, 
during the whole of which he did not make the vestige 
of an error, whilst at the conclusion he played out 
time with 38 out of 56. In each match with Somer- 
setshire he was in vein. Once more his neighbours, 
who traditionally indulged in aggressively lively 
batting tactics, were troubled by his bowling 7 for 
85 and 5 for 53 and at Taunton, if favoured by 
luck, his 109 was remarkably brilliant. Opening the 
defence with W. Troup, he was first out at 169, having 
hit fifteen fours. " Did you say I made that score 
on a small ground ? " he once asked a friend; " let 
me tell you it takes as much trouble to hit to the 
ropes at Taunton as at the Oval." 

"His highest score in a home match was 93 not out 
v. Sussex at Bristol, and on that occasion he declared 
the innings of his side closed. The explanation of 
this seemingly curious proceeding was to be found in 
the fact that with the exception of 93 he had pre- 
viously made in first-class cricket every score from 
o to 100 and he was desirous of obtaining this parti- 
cular number." It may be added that he took no 
particular risk in adopting this policy as nine wickets 
had already fallen. Other excellent efforts were 63 
against Notts, with R. W. Rice putting up 106 
for the first wicket, 55 v. Middlesex terminated by a 
wonderful catch by A. E. Stoddart at short-slip 
which Grace himself acknowledged by grasping his 
hand in cordial compliment before he returned to the 
pavilion, and 51 at the Oval, the highest on the side, 
but a forlorn effort as it came after Surrey had 
declared with 500 on the board and only four wickets 
down. Few professionals have ever been the com- 
peers of George Hirst, and he writes thus delightfully 
about Grace : 


" As a lad I always wanted to see and play against 
the greatest of cricketers, Dr. W. G. Grace, and at 
last I had my wish. I have seen in the papers lately 
letters as to who had taken his wicket most times. 
Well, I can tell you who took it less times than most 
bowlers myself. I never got Dr. Grace's wicket, to 
my regret. 

This little story comes out of that. We were play- 
ing Gloucestershire at Sheffield, Schof Haigh having 
first bowl at W. G. Of course I had told him my 
experience. He goes on and slams a fast full toss 
shoulder high. W. G. pops his bat up to prevent it 
killing him, skied the ball a few feet straight into 
David Hunter's hands. I do not know which of us, 
W. G. or myself, was the more disgusted. I can see 
him yet, walking down the pitch and patting the end 
quite near Haigh, while Haigh was kindly explaining 
to me the way to get W. G. out. 

The Doctor himself knew I had never taken his 
wicket and one day, in a little chaff he mentioned the 
fact. My only consolation in reply was : ' Well, 
Doctor, we are quits. You have never got mine ! r 

Another tale, round Hastings Festival, where the 
Doctor was so very popular. It was a North v. 
South or Gents v. Players match : Schof Haigh 
wanted to catch a train. He asked the Doctor's 
leave, and just before the time Haigh wanted to leave, 
W. G. was batting. Haigh was fielding short-leg. 
He skied a soft one to him, and as he was running 
down the wicket W. G. cried : ' If you catch it, I 
shall not let you go home.' Result : he missed it, 
not his train. 

What a pity the Doctor died at this sad time. 
For the greatest of all cricketers the fitting end should 
have been at Lord's at a great match." 

All students of cricket must realize that most 
judicious observations on the game are to be found 
in the annual volumes of Wisden the only books by 

DR. W. G. GRACE 279 

the way that Grace himself loved and his set of the 
series were well read, not put on a high shelf only for 
reference. Therefore, on what may be regarded as 
one of the most discussed episodes in the champion's 
career, Wisden may be quoted as the safest guide : 

" In connection with Gloucestershire cricket in 
1899, the most important fact was the secession of 
Mr. W. G. Grace from the eleven. Mr. Grace took 
part in four games in May, his last appearance for 
the county being against Middlesex at Lord's. It 
then became known that he had resigned the cap- 
taincy and retired from the team It was under- 
stood that his relations with the county committee 
had been somewhat strained and there is not much 
doubt that his acceptance of the post of manager to 
the new London County Club, organized by the 
Crystal Palace authorities, was a source of irritation. 
It would be idle, even if one were in a position to do 
so, to enter into the merits of the dispute, but the 
upshot was that he withdrew from a post he had 
held since the formation of the Gloucestershire 
county club thirty years ago. When interviewed 
on the subject, Mr. Grace said that he had not 
refused to play for Gloucestershire, but as he was not 
seen in the eleven after May, it may fairly be assumed 
that his connection with the county has finally 
ceased. It is a matter for regret that his county 
career should have ended in such an unfortunate 
manner, but whatever the real rights of the quarrel, 
his retirement marked the close of a great and 
glorious chapter in cricket history." To this it 
would be superfluous as well as fruitless to add. 
Nothing further is required for the purpose of his 
biography except to mention that he himself never 
displayed the slightest ill-will about the matter. 

He did not have a sufficiency of first-class practice 
to keep himself in form in 1899, but on important 
occasions showed little deterioration as a batsman, 
though his average fell to 23. He gathered a power- 


ful eleven of the South of England to encounter the 
Australians at the Crystal Palace in the opening 
match of their tour. Contrary to his previous custom 
he did not go in first and score the first run chronicled 
against them, but in the second innings batted with 
all his old judgment for 47, enjoying an admirable 
stand with K. S. Ranjitsinhji. He also dismissed 
Clement Hill, l.b.w. Subsequently he appeared in 
the first test match at Nottingham, going in first, 
and after he had compiled 28 judiciously, losing his 
wicket through over-eagerness to score from M. A. 
Noble on the off-side. 

As this was the last test match in which he ever 
appeared, it seems a suitable opportunity to insert 
the recollections of that great English wicket-keeper 
A. A. Lilley, who writes : 

" I little thought that when a lad I read and heard 
of the prowess of W. G. on the cricket field, I 
should have the pleasure and privilege of becoming 
intimately acquainted with him, yet for twenty-four 
years that was granted me. During my first-class 
career from 1888 to 1912 I either played with or 
against him several times each year till 1909. The 
first time was the opening of the County Ground, 
Bristol, when Warwickshire had not aspired to first- 
class cricket, and the last occasion was in 1909 in a 
tea-party match at Shillinglee Park, Sussex. He was 
just as keen on the game in the last match as the first, 
and throughout his career this intense love for the 
game of cricket struck me so prominently in him. 
As in later years I knew W. G. Grace better, so my 
personal regard for him and my unstinted admiration 
for the cricketer correspondingly increased. 

His knowledge and judgment were as comprehen- 
sive as his skill. I have met him in test matches, 
North and South, Gentlemen v. Players and in 
lighter house-party games, and his motto was ever 
to play the game as it should be played. In other 

DR. W. G. GRACE 281 

branches of sport he was really good, be it game- 
shooting, fishing or golf. I well remember Mr. 
Robert Sevier had invited W. G. to bring a team to 
Doddington Hall. The Doctor brought with him 
his bosom friend W. L. Murdoch, that grand cricketer 
. L. Townsend and several other county players. 
Mr. Sevier got a good side including A. C. MacLaren, 
C. Robson, Len Braund, Frank Field and myself. 
The match was very enjoyable and a few friendly 
bets made it very keen. Mr. Sevier's side won, and 
it was arranged the party should have a day's shoot- 
ing on the morrow. To show how keen W. G. was 
on his sport, one gentleman was allowed to walk the 
stubble with his gun carelessly handled. This was 
noticed by the Doctor and the gentleman was 
asked to leave the ground and put his gun up. 

He was a great friend to the professional cricketers 
and I can recall many kindly acts and words of 
encouragement given them by him. Many of us owe 
much to him the pat on the back the stroking of 
that beard when things were not going well will 
ever be remembered by us. On the other hand he 
never spared ' a slacker ' in the field and delighted 
to take ' the rise ' out of a swollen head. On one 
occasion the second test match of 1896 at Man- 
chester I had my only bowling experience in a test 
game. The previous week I had taken 6 wickets for 
46 runs against Derbyshire and W. G. had heard of 
it. During the first innings of the Australians, 
Harry Trott and Clem Hill got going, so I was called 
on to bowl. J. T. Brown took my place. My first 
over yielded a wide and 14 runs, but I was 
allowed to continue. The last ball of the fifth over, 
I sent down a long-hop on the off Harry Trott had 
a lunge at it and just touched it. Several of us 
shouted and J. T. Brown seemed quite surprised to 
have the ball in his hands. I had taken my only 
wicket in a test match and I naturally expected to 
continue bowling, but W. G. came to me and said, 


' Put the gloves on, Dick, I shall not want you to 
bowl again ; you must have been bowling with your 
wrong arm/ 

It is well known that W. G. Grace never ' bagged 
a pair ' in a first-class match. Apropos to this, I 
remember in one of the Gentlemen v. Players 
matches, poor Tom Richardson clean bowled the 
champion for a duck. When he came out for his 
second innings, he turned to me and said, ' Tell Tom 
I have never "got a brace" in my life there is a 
bottle of wine on this.' The Doctor made a good 
score and Tom and I had some of the wine." 

When M.C.C. and Ground met the Australians, 
Grace was in excellent vein, batting first, playing 
E. Jones who was bowling tremendously fast 
with absolute imperturbability and finding himself 
credited with 50. The match was suspended on the 
second day for the cricketers to be presented to the 
Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. Grace, 
quite at his ease, much amused the Prince with some 
remarks about the game and, being a non-smoker, 
refused a cigar from his case which was accepted by 
the Australian captain Joe Darling. 

Next time Grace met the Colonials was in a very 
slack game at the Crystal Palace. Though the team 
was called his Eleven, it virtually was similar to one of 
those that subsequently represented London County 
on fairly important occasions. W. G. again found 
M. A. Noble his master after scoring 25, but, in the 
concluding hour, when a draw was inevitable, he 
took three Australian wickets very cheaply. A 
patient 29 at Hastings was his only subsequent effort 
of any importance against them. 

For the Gentlemen at the Oval he scored 28 and 
60, in the latter instance commencing very badly, 
though batting much better when he settled down. 
At Lord's he and J. R. Mason played out time on the 
first day, scoring 64 in seventy minutes. " On the 

DR. W. G. GRACE 283, 

following morning, the two batsmen played with far 
more freedom and by fine cricket carried the score 
to 439. Then, just when he seemed well set for his 
hundred, Grace was run out, his partner, forgetful 
of his age and weight, foolishly calling him for a 
short run. It was altogether an unfortunate busi- 
ness. Thirty-one years have elapsed since Grace 
made his first hundred for the Gentlemen at Lord's 
and every one would have been delighted to see 
him once more perform the feat in what one may call 
the autumn of his career. Whereas it took him an 
hour and forty minutes to score 33 runs on the 
Monday, he made his last 45 in barely an hour. 
While they were together he and Mason put on 130 
runs for the seventh wicket." An instance of his 
kindness may be cited. In the last encounter of the 
year, Home Counties v. Rest of England, Grace kept 
C. L. Townsend on bowling for an unconscionable 
time so that he might secure his hundred wickets 
in conjunction with scoring two thousand runs in the 

In December, W. G. Grace was elected a life- 
member of the M.C.C. on the suggestion of Lord 

Although in part somewhat anticipatory, here 
may be introduced the impressions of Grace's warm 
friend and admirer F. S. Ashley-Cooper, who writes : 

" In glancing over the career of W. G. Grace, one 
cannot fail to be struck with the amount of work he 
got through before he had reached the age of thirty. 
Each of the three Graces was a cricket phenomenon. 
E. M. was picked for West Gloucestershire against 
All England Eleven when only thirteen and G. F. 
played for South of the Thames at Canterbury in 
1866 at the age of fifteen and for England at Lord's 
two years later. W. G. was only sixteen when at 
headquarters in 1865 he made his first appearance 
for the Gentlemen, being then given his place more 


on account of bowling than batting, and in the 
following season by means of 224 not out and 173 
not out in representative matches at the Oval had 
gained the title of champion at an age when 
many of our famous amateurs were not yet in their 
school elevens. It may here be mentioned that, 
among cricketers, Alfred Mynn and W. G. Grace 
alone have been termed the champion and that, 
when the latter burst on the world of cricket, an 
enthusiast brought Mynn's pads to him, declaring 
ihat only he was worthy to wear them. 

Some idea of the wonderful nature of his career 
may be obtained from the fact that in first-class 
cricket at Lord's alone he scored 12,690 runs and was 
dismissed 345 times, averaging 3678. Such a record 
would have been noteworthy if he had been a Middle- 
sex man, playing county cricket regularly on the 
ground, instead of being identified with Gloucester- 
shire, which, for many years, arranged compara- 
tively few matches. But the further point that 
very many of the matches in which he took part at 
Lord's were representative, test and picked fixtures 
enhances the extraordinary character of his record, 
as so many of his runs were made against such skilled 
opponents, and also it must be borne in mind how 
rough a ground Lord's was until about 1875, and even 
.now it is often exceptionally difficult to play on. 
When Grace made 134 there in the Gentlemen v. 
Players match of 1868, the late Fred Gale (' the 
Old Buffer ') wrote : ' The wicket reminded me of a 
middle-aged gentleman's head of hair, when the 
middle-aged gentleman, to conceal the baldness of his 
crown, applies a pair of wet brushes to some favourite 
long locks and brushes them across the top of his 
head.' Cricketers are more exacting in the twentieth 
century and with the greatest care and precision will 
remove half an inch of straw or a dead fly from the 

The influence the Old Man had on the game was 

DR. W. G. GRACE 285 

remarkable. A writer in The Jubilee Book of Cricket 
aptly observed : ' He revolutionized cricket. He 
turned it from an accomplishment into a science. . . . 
Before W. G. batsmen were of two kinds a batsman 
played a forward game or he played a back game. 
. . . What W. G. did was to unite in his mighty self 
all the good points of all the good players and to 
make utility the criterion of style. ... He turned 
the old one-stringed instrument into a many-chorded 
lyre. But, in addition, he made his execution equal 
his invention.' These are brave words, but they 
do not state more than the truth. When he was at 
his zenith say in the middle seventies bowlers r 
instead of attacking him, seemed at his mercy, and 
more than one professional on obtaining his wicket 
threw his cap in the air in triumph. Only a man who 
took every care of his health could have found it 
possible to play so well and so long in the great 
matches of the day. 

Bob Thorns, the finest of all umpires, told me that 
if Grace had not been the best batsman of all time, 
he would have been the best bowler. Being always 
quick to discover a batsman's weakness, he obtained 
a wicket directly he went on to an extent not appre- 
ciated. Southerton once wrote : ' It was in the 
North v. South [1869], and after Willsher, Silcock and 
I had in vain tried to secure a separation of the bats- 
men, Mr. W. G. Grace took the ball and got three 
wickets in six balls, not one of which was within a 
foot of being straight.' In 1877, Gloucestershire 
played Notts at Cheltenham. In the first innings, 
the visitors collapsed for in, W. G. taking nine 
wickets. Daft kept himself back in the follow-on 
and, as batsman after batsman fell into the trap of 
Grace's leg ball, so did his wrath increase. At 
length, his patience being exhausted, he himself went 
in to stop the rot, and all those who had been tempted 
and had fallen were naturally anxious to see what 
the captain would do. Alas for brave resolutions t 


Daft was quite as human as his comrades, for the 
score sheet read ' c Gilbert b W. G. Grace, o,' and 
W. R. Gilbert was fielding on the leg-side. The 
champion captured seventeen wickets in that match, 
which his county won without having to go in a 
second time. With the last 17 balls that innings, 
W. G. claimed seven wickets without a run being 
made from him. 

Against men he met for the first time, he was 
almost invariably successful. A. G. Steel evidently 
divined the reason for this because, writing in the 
Badminton volume, he remarked : ' The batsman 
seeing an enormous man rushing up to the wickets 
with both elbows out, great black beard blowing on 
each side of him, a huge yellow cap on the top of a 
dark, swarthy face, expects something more than 
the gentle lobbed-up ball that does come ; he cannot 
believe that this baby bowling is really the great 
man's, and gets flustered and loses his wicket.' 

With the ring too Grace was always very popular, 
for he invariably played with a robust cheerfulness. 
Sometimes, in the old days at Lord's, when the crowd 
grew a little out of hand or encroached into the field, 
he would put matters right with some well-chosen 
words and, as often as not, a few hand-shakes with 
admiring strangers. 

Grace was always ready to go out of his way to 
play in a benefit match. For example, Notts 
wanted him to play on the same day as Rowbotham 
had fixed for his benefit. He had promised to play 
for the latter and Rowbotham went up specially to 
London from Yorkshire to ask him what he would 
do. The answer was : ' Joe, I will play for you and 
no one else on that day as I promised.' Notts had 
to put off his visit. 

The good nature he showed to young cricketers 
is proverbial. Board, the Gloucestershire wicket- 
keeper, for one, speaks eloquently of the kindness 
shown him by the champion in introducing him to 

DR. W. G. GRACE 287 

first-class cricket. One day, early in 1891, he 
received a telegram, asking him to call on Mrs. Grace 
and, to use his own words : ' When I got to the house, 
she said : " Here's two pounds. W. G. has wired me 
to send you up to Lord's on Monday morning." I 
did not know where Lord's was. I was only a poor 
gardener and Mrs. Grace wrote out on a piece of 
paper all instructions. I was to take a ticket to 
Paddington and then a cab to Lord's and I was not 
to pay the cabman more than eight eenpence. At 
Lord's I was to ask for Dr. Grace. When I got there, 
I was told by W. G. that I was to keep wicket for the 
South against the North for Rylott's benefit match. 
He introduced me to the professionals' room and I 
remember him saying to a group of players : " Look 
after him." When the match was over and, mind, 
I had to stand up to Lohmann, Sharpe, Ferris and 
Martin that I had never seen before W. G. took me 
in at the amateurs' gate and saw that I was paid. 
They wanted to deduct a sovereign from me for 
Rylott's benefit and he said : " No, take half -a-sove- 
reign. He's a youngster who has never played in 
first-class before." Then he drove me in his cab to 
Paddington, travelled with me and I rode through 
the streets of Bristol with him to his home. Mind 
you, W. G. was W. G. in those days. His name 
was a household word the world over. I felt some- 
body. There was a lot of pride in me. W. G. told 
the cabman to drive me home and a week later I 
played my first county match.' One can well believe 
Board when he adds : ' The Old Man was almost a 
father to me.' 

The affection felt for W. G., especially by those 
who had played with him frequently, was very 
strong and formed a remarkable tribute to his kind- 
heartedness. Many years ago, when talking about 
cricket with Frank Townsend in Devonshire, some- 
thing prompted me to ask : ' I suppose you were very 
fond of him ? ' Looking straight into my eyes and 


emphasizing every word, he replied thoughtfully and 
slowly : ' Yes, I love every inch of the Old Man/ 
It was more than a mere figure of speech, for the 
impressive manner in which the words were spoken 
showed they came from the heart. 

Like every other cricketer, Grace rejoiced (in a 
quiet way) when he did well. Few innings, I know, 
caused him greater personal satisfaction during the 
latter part of his career than his 74 for Gentlemen 
v. Players on his fifty-eighth birthday. I happened 
to be in the dressing-room when he came in after 
being dismissed. The Old Man, as brown as a berry, 
was greeted with an unanimous chorus of congratula- 
tion, which must have sounded musical in his ears, 
though it was far from being so in reality. Looking 
as delighted as a schoolboy, he lumbered across the 
room and, throwing his bat on a table, remarked : 
' There ! I shan't play any more.' Of course he 
meant against the Players, for on the very next day 
he was cutting and driving the ball in all directions 
at the Crystal Palace. 

Naturally there was a reverse side to the medal. 
One year, at Hastings, I arrived a few minutes late 
and, seeing the cricketers standing idly in the centre 
of the ground, assumed that the game had not 
commenced and sat down in the second row of the 
pavilion seats. Almost immediately W. G. came out 
and reclined directly in front of me, which seemed 
strange as it was evident his was the batting side, 
As soon, therefore, as he had settled down, I tapped 
him on the shoulder and inquired when he was going 
in. To my surprise, the question, asked in all inno- 
cence, irritated him and he returned an answer 
which would not look quite courteous in print. 
Leaning back in my seat, sorely puzzled, I was 
addressed by a friend : ' You ass ! Didn't you know 
he had been in and was bowled for a single ? ' A 
little later, I followed W. G. into the pavilion and 
explained, whereupon he threw his right arm round 

DR. W. G. GRACE 289 

my shoulders and said : ' I am so sorry. I thought 
you were trying to " pull my leg," and besides I don't 
like to fail, as I did to-day.' 

He possessed a ' school buoyancy ' which he never 
lost : he loved a bit of fun, even when it told against 
himself, to the very last. I well remember how we 
had a bit of chaff at his expense at Hastings. During 
his innings he made one magnificent hit off Rhodes 
over mid-on, sending the ball beyond some tents 
which lined the ground. When, shortly after, he 
was dismissed, and was wending his way in, he called 
out, evidently as happy as a boy who has made his 
first fifty : ' That was a very fine hit I made just now 
off Rhodes.' The remark was thoroughly justified 
and almost all of us in the small enclosure were 
personal friends. Some one wickedly suggested we 
should pretend not to have seen it and accordingly he 
was greeted with cries of ' What hit ? ' ' When was 
it ? ' ' Strange we should have missed it,' etc. 
W. G. of course saw a little harmless fun was being 
indulged in, and he came in, chuckling softly, with 
bowed head and a twinkle in his eye. Once well 
inside the pavilion, he called out to Mr. Fellows, 
whom he espied a short way off : 'I say, Harvey, 
here's Ashley-Cooper didn't see that big hit of mine. 
He must have been asleep.' There the matter was 
allowed to rest and, having had the last word, W. G. 
was happy. 

At times he was doubtful whether a remark was 
deliberately intended against him or not, and then 
the uncertainty he showed was amusing. A delight- 
ful instance of this occurred whilst he was enjoying 
a foursome at golf. His partner : ' What a lovely 
day.' W. G. (cheerily) : ' Yes, ideal weather for 
cricket.' His partner : ' Cricket ! Are you inter- 
ested in cricket ? ' It was perhaps not surprising 
that he was put off his game for a couple of holes. 

Again, many years ago, a cricket enthusiast wit- 
nessed a match at Thornbury in which E. M. Grace, 



for private reasons, played under a nom de guerre and 
made a very long score in double quick time by his 
own peculiar methods. Immediately afterwards a 
spectator wrote to W. G. Grace recommending 
him to keep his eye on a promising player named 
Green at Thornbury, whose style was distinctly 
agricultural, but who might turn out well as the 
result of a little sound coaching. The champion 
forwarded the letter to his brother and an explana- 
tion followed, but W. G. was never quite certain that 
a little fun had not been perpetrated at their expense. 

Quite as amusing, in its way, was the Old Man's 
experience when, walking across Durdham Downs 
one afternoon, he saw several small boys playing. 
At once recognizing that the stumps were almost 
thirty yards apart, he genially set things right and 
(in a silence that could be felt) offered to give them 
a few hints on batting. To see a huge bearded man 
stoop over him, and put out a giant paw for the bat, 
was more than the youthful batsman could endure, 
so he blurted out : ' Garn ! Wot do an old man 
like you know about cricket ? ' Thus he effectually 
put W. G. to rout, for the dear old champion lum- 
bered away, pulling his beard in thoughtful silence. 

How plainly he showed his feelings by the way in 
which he toyed with his beard. Thus could satis- 
faction, doubt, mortification, delight and many other 
emotions be recognized by those who knew him well. 
For years W. G.'s beard and W. E. G.'s collar were 
the most familiar things in the country to the 
average Englishman, and just as the former's state of 
mind could be gauged in the way stated, so could the 
latter's by the distance his neck-tie had travelled 
towards his ear. 

W. G. not only loved to make a joke, but he could 
appreciate one which told against himself. Some 
years ago, at Lord's, it was considered necessary to- 
request all members to show their cards or sign the 
book on entering the ground. A short time after 

DR. W. G. GRACE 291 

the regulation had been made, the secretary noticed 
the Old Man engaged in a very animated discussion 
with the janitor. A few minutes later he burst into 
the secretary's room and exclaimed : ' What do you 
think ? They wanted to refuse to let me in because 
I had not my card of membership with me. I have 
never brought it and I never will.' With incompar- 
able blandness and suppressing a smile, came the 
reply : ' Well, I'm sorry, but in that case I am 
afraid we shall not have the pleasure of seeing you 
here again.' For a moment W. G. stared in amaze- 
ment, but recognizing the humour of the situation, 
threw back his head and roared with laughter. 

One of my pleasantest recollections of the cham- 
pion concerns a visit to the Crystal Palace. I 
arrived in good time and, as I strolled on to the 
ground, met him going out to practise. ' I will bowl 
you a few,' I remarked, and with my fourth removed 
one of the bails. As this was the only time I ever 
bowled to him, my elation was excusable. It is 
difficult to say who was the more surprised, batsman 
or bowler, but I ejaculated : ' I soon found out your 
weak point, Doctor,' before he had quite recovered 
from the shock, whereupon he emitted a noise 
between a snort and a grunt and bade me ' do it 
again ' with a very keen glance. For the next twenty 
minutes I laboured to accomplish his request, but, 
like Dick Swiveller, soon discovered that destiny was 
too strong for me. 

As a medical man, by his kindness and considera- 
tion W. G. gained the affection of those amongst 
whom he practised. To them he was a kind of com- 
bined fairy god-uncle and Father Christmas. For 
years after he left Bristol, poor people would relate 
how, after a thing day in the field, he would visit 
them, not in a professional capacity, but as a friend, 
doing much to alleviate pain and spread cheerfulness. 
Is that nothing in our times ? 

W. G. was not eloquent as a talker, but his remarks 


were to the point, and in a few words he often made 
plain what had been getting confused. Canon 
Edward Lyttelton gave a good instance of this 
ability. At Cambridge, one year, several well-known 
cricketers discussed at great length the best way to 
deal with the ordinary break-back from the off as 
bowled by Alfred Shaw and Southerton. At length 
W. G. was asked his opinion and, in the simplest 
way, as if there could be no doubt in the matter, 
replied : ' I think you ought to put the bat against 
the ball.' " 

The Close of his First-class Cricket 

important cricket of W. G. Grace was now 
nearly over. He had played his last test 
match, for the last time had represented the Gentle- 
men against the Players at Lord's, besides having 
severed his connection with Gloucestershire. There 
is no reason editorially to discuss why the cricket of 
the London County Club failed to arouse adequate 
public support and interest. It provided many 
pleasant matches for those participating, produced 
a number of good players afterwards of service to 
first-class counties, and was justifiably remunerative 
to Grace himself, who, for five years, received an 
annual fee, it is said, of a thousand pounds for manag- 
ing its cricket. Naturally, after that period, even he 
bowled out by anno domini gradually fell out of 
first-class cricket, in which it was absolutely unprece- 
dented for a man of his age and bulk to have taken 
so prolonged a part. 

But when years necessitated that his cricket 
should be less strenuous, greater scope was afforded 
for the charm and geniality of the veteran. Conse- 
quently the many delightful traits and incidents in 
the concluding portion of this volume serve to show 
the attractiveness of the champion in his declining 
summers. If the strenuousness was over, the plea- 
sure was not diminished. It is felt that though the 
remainder of the varied reminiscences deal with less 
important fixtures, they afford a fascinating illustra- 



tion of what Grace was in the enjoyable aftermath 
of an unparalleled and unspoilt career. 

Dealing with comparative brevity with the rest of 
his first-class cricket, credit for many excellent 
innings in 1900 must be accorded to him. The 
finest effort was in the late September match at 
Lord's between North and South for the benefit of the 
shrewd and polite dressing-room superintendent 
Philip Need. Grace went in first and showed wonder- 
ful form for a masterly 126 out of 274 in three hours, 
a notable display against the bowling of Briggs, J. 
Gunn, J. T. Brown, Ernest Smith, Hirst, Thompson 
and Rhodes. In the first innings of the South, P. F. 
Warner drove back a ball to Ernest Smith who 
turned it on to the broad back of W. G. who was 
batting at the other end. Off the rebound Smith 
made the catch, Warner being caught and bowled. 
Grace laughed most heartily at the incident. For 
the Gentlemen at the Oval, heplayed admirably for 58. 

The responsibilities of captaincy and management 
never affected his cricket. Once at the wicket he 
concentrated his attention on the bowling and played 
it to the best of his ability. That summer he com- 
piled a number of most useful scores on the Crystal 
Palace ground for his new L.C.C. club. Among 
them may be cited 87 and 44 v. Derbyshire, 72 and 
no not out v. Worcestershire, 76 v. Warwickshire 
and no against M.C.C. and Ground, though out 
of the two sides composing the last-named match 
one first-class eleven could barely have been formed. 
In both out and home encounters with Cambridge 
University he was in rare vein, scoring 93 in 
two and a half hours, as well as 86 and 62, whilst 
each time he baffled the undergraduates, tempting 
them to hit out at his slows to the destruction of their 
wickets. At Birmingham he put up 122 and 74 
respectively for the first wicket with Arnold, his own 
share being 82 and 48. 

Perhaps the worst punishment Grace ever received 

DR. W. G. GRACE 295 

as a bowler in a first-class match was at the hands of 
R. E. Foster on the occasion of the L.C.C.C. visit to 
Oxford. " Tip " proceeded to score 169 in his 
customary brilliant fashion, the sensational feature 
being that he hit W. G. four times in succession oft 
consecutive balls for six each into the shrubbery 
all straight drives. It was a wonderful display of 
vigorous onslaught. " Not very respectful to an old 
man, was it, Tip ? " said the champion, " but it was 
worth seeing." There was no malice about Grace, 
only appreciation of genuine skill. When playing 
for Strutt Ca veil's XI v. XVIII of Twickenham in 
1905, W. G. was hit for 28 ofi six consecutive balls by 
R. Hiscock. 

In 1901, his 57 for the Gentlemen at the Oval was 
nothing short of a personal triumph on a side so 
weak that the title was a misnomer. At Hastings 
in the match under the same nomenclature, in which 
he made 54, he achieved what is an unparalleled 
example of captaincy, namely never to change the 
bowling in an innings of 238, the pair accountable 
for the wickets being J. R. Mason and the South 
African J. H. Sinclair. So far as L.C.C.C. matches 
went, all Grace's important efforts were on the Palace 
ground. These included 76 v. Warwickshire, 83 v. 
Leicestershire and 72 v. Cambridge. Against Surrey 
with C. J. B. Wood he caused the hundred to be 
hoisted each time before the first wicket fell, his own 
contributions being 71 and 80. He occupied three 
hours and fifty minutes in compiling 132 against 
M.C.C. and Ground, and his association with L 
Walker yielded 281 in less than three hours. The 
latter has testified that W. G. pluckily played with a 
bandaged hand. He was suffering from a bad cut, 
but it healed like the flesh of a little child, so wonder- 
fully healthy was he despite advancing years. At 
Lord's, v. M.C.C. and Ground, he revelled in one of his 
successes with the ball, his remarkable figures being 
7 for 30 and 6 for 80 " just to show I can still 


stick some of them up," as he himself phrased it. 

In 1902 against the Australians, his premature 
closure for M.C.C. v. Ground nearly cost his side the 
match, chiefly owing to Victor Trumper's perfectly 
pyrotechnical displays which yielded 105 and 86. 
All the same Grace himself proved no negligible 
quantity, because besides scoring 29 and 23, he 
proved amazingly delusive with the ball, his figures 
being 5 for 29, R. Duff and A. J. Hopkins both put- 
ting their leg in front of his deliveries. At the 
Oval, for the Gentlemen v. the Players, his 82 was 
the highest contribution, but marred by a couple of 
chances to Lilley, though characterized by powerful 
driving. With G. W. Beldam he put up 119 for the 
first wicket, a performance all the more creditable in 
view of the collapse of the others in the innings. A 
resolute 70 for the Rest of England v. Kent and 
Sussex at Hastings fairly won the game and was 
terminated by a positive ovation. For M.C.C. and 
Ground v. Lancashire, he took in W. L. Murdoch with 
him their united ages being 101 and the Old 
Boys, as Murdoch himself called them, scored 120 
before they were parted. If they could have run with 
agility this would have been doubled. Grace made a 
hit off Hallows to leg, the ball going over the grand- 
stand and out of the ground into an adjoining garden. 

For L.C.C.C., his 97 v. Surrey, amassed in three 
and a half hours, contained only one bad stroke, whilst 
his late cutting was particularly fine. Nor was his 
analysis a bad one : 5 for 33. 131 v. M.C.C. and 
Ground was pregnant with hard driving. Against 
Warwickshire, having been missed by Devey at long- 
on before he had scored, he compiled 129, Braund 
helping him to add 164. At the Oval, in his 61 v. 
Surrey he was also seen to great advantage. The 
present writer remembers a small boy watching the 
Old Man with breathless delight and then saying in 
tones of awe : " Why he bats even better than our 
captain at school." Against Ireland, Grace and 

DR. W. G. GRACE 297 

Murdoch made 75 for the first wicket, but the whole 
side was out for 90. 

In 1903, so far as Grace was concerned, only two 
matches need be alluded to. On Easter Monday, 
April 13, Surrey arranged a premature but popular 
game with L.C.C.C. and the spectators saw the hero of 
old times bat with the utmost coolness for 43 and 81. 
An encounter in which he took great interest was 
with Gloucestershire, and his old county had the 
unusual experience of losing the game after making 
so large a total as 397. Grace had most to do with 
this, for he captured 6 wickets for 102 and then 
scored 150 " of the very best, as well made as though 
he had been five and twenty years younger." 

Age was telling in 1904 and he did not appear 
either for the Gentlemen at the Oval or at the Hast- 
ings Festival. Still there were days when he was 
quite himself. He had a rare tussle for runs against 
Leicestershire with his old rival and devoted comrade 
W. L. Murdoch, his own efforts being 73 and 54 and 
the Anglo- Australian's 74 and 57. " Beaten by 
four runs and I seven years his senior the cheek of 
the youngster," was W. G.'s delighted commentary. 
On his fifty-sixth birthday the Grand Old Man of the 
cricket-field scored 166 v. M.C.C. and Ground. If 
the latter side was a wretched one, still the bowling 
of A. E. Relf, Fielder, Walter Mead and Alec Hearne 
could test any batsman and Grace resisted them for 
five and a quarter hours, crediting himself with four- 
teen fours, albeit there were some faulty strokes. 
51 by W. L. Murdoch was the next highest effort, so 
Grace was easily foremost. Other scores were 52 v. 
Surrey and 45 v. Cambridge University. He played 
his last match, in first-class cricket, at Lord's, repre- 
senting M.C.C. and Ground, v. South Africans, scoring 
27, Halliwell making an exceptionally brilliant catch 
behind the wicket off the fast bowler Kotze who, 
though bowling at a great pace, had been played with 
genuine ease by the old stager. 


In 1905 only three games in which Grace took part 
demand mention. Playing for Gentlemen of Eng- 
land v. Surrey at the Oval, he pulled a ball from J. N. 
Crawford right out of the ground, scoring six, and sent 
the next delivery from the same bowler almost as 
far for four. The L.C.C.C. had come to an end, but 
with a thoroughly misnamed Gentlemen of England 
side, he appeared at Oxford, scoring 71 out of 192 
whilst in against the University, his partnership for 
the first wicket with Alan Marshal yielding 168. 
For the Gentlemen of the South v. Players of the 
South at Bournemouth he compiled 45. 

A diverting case of Dr. W. G. Grace having a 
double occurred at the Hambledon commemoration 
match. Broad Halfpenny Down is six miles from 
the nearest station. Twenty-four prominent crick- 
eters were playing for the Hambledon team or the 
opposing All England side. Dr. W. G. Grace had 
been announced to unveil the granite memorial on 
this historic ground. At mid-day was delivered a 
telegram to say he had missed his train and would be 
at Droxford Station later. A train arrived and a 
burly bearded figure emerged. " Dr. Grace," cried 
an enthusiastic porter who ushered him into the only 
vehicle. On the way the local photographer man- 
aged several snap-shots and found it singularly 
difficult to elicit anything about cricket from the 
smiling traveller. On arrival at the ground, the 
cricketers of course at once recognized that this was 
W. G.'s double, Mr. Henry Warren of West Byfleet. 
It was discovered later that Dr. W. G. Grace was 
prevented coming and the memorial was unveiled by 
the Hampshire captain E. M. Sprot. The double 
was subsequently introduced to Dr. Grace, who was 
amused by his description of his reception at Hamble- 
don and gave him his signed photo. 

Virtually the champion's swan-song came in 1906 
for the Gentlemen v. the Players at the Oval, when, 
after breaking up a partnership of 182 between King 

DR. W. G. GRACE 299 

and Hardstaff with his first ball, he scored 74 off the 
bowling of Lees, J. Gunn, Jayes, Trott, Hayes, 
King and Quaife. He was fifty-eight years old (it 
was his birthday) and this was his eighty-fifth and 
last appearance for the amateurs, the first having 
been made forty-one years before. But he shaped 
with much of his old power, placing the fast bowling 
with the old certainty and showing the same consum- 
mate ease at the wicket. " Though he tired towards 
the end of his innings, his play while he was getting 
his first fifty runs was good enough to give the 
younger people among the crowd an idea of what his 
batting was like in his prime." The magnitude of the 
performance delighted everybody and it was only 
lack of endurance that prevented him from getting 
the century everybody desired he should make. He 
was naturally delighted with his own prowess and 
received numberless congratulations. 

This was not his only success that season, for he 
had already displayed really fine form and decisive 
mastery of the Cambridge bowling when scoring 64 
and 44 not out. In one instance his own slows were 
treated with contemptuous disrespect, A. E. Harri- 
gin of the West Indians in one over scoring three 
sixes and a two off his deliveries. No one praised 
him for his big hits more heartily than Grace himself. 

The rest of his first-class career was confined to the 
opening match of the two following seasons at the 
Oval. In 1907 for the Gentlemen against Surrey he 
was credited with 16 and 3. In 1908 the same fixture 
was arranged as early as April 20. Not only was it 
bitterly cold, but snow actually fell. Grace scored 
15 and 25 and bowled twelve balls for five runs with- 
out taking a wicket. Never again did he figure in 
important averages. The longest and greatest 
career ever recorded in those statistics had reached 
an honoured conclusion. 

Happy L.C.C.C. Memories 


PRECISELY at what date W. G. Grace first 
thought of going to the Crystal Palace is not 
recorded, but his first inspection of the cricket 
ground there was in September, 1898, and it was in 
the beginning of 1899 that he arrived and began to 
get his staff together. His departure from Glouces- 
tershire was the result of a letter from a director of 
the Crystal Palace Company, who wrote to him 
asking for an interview : "at which it was suggested 
that he should become manager and secretary of a 
new club which the Company wished to form for 
first-class cricket." This statement of the facts 
from an unimpeachable source proves that Grace 
was sought, he did not seek. 

Nor did he let the grass grow under his feet, for 
several elms were soon doomed, a new pavilion was 
built and he decided to keep on Dickinson, who had 
been thirty years ground-man, and " Razor " Smith, 
later of Surrey. I have a letter from the Old Man 
written just after the test match at Leeds in 1909, the 
postscript of which runs : '* Smith (W. C.), not 
always good enough for Surrey, might even yet play 
for England." 

" Razor " has a very warm corner in his heart for 
the Doctor, to whose encouragement he owes so 


DR. W. G. GRACE 301 

much. It is only in a joking way that he refers to 
an occasion when he was umpiring at the Palace and 
gave W. G. out l.b.w. Called up after the match to 
the corner of the dressing-room which was set apart 
as a sort of sanctum for the Old Man, he had to explain 
matters, whereupon came the prompt rejoinder : 
" I always thought you a fool, now I know you are 
one." And, much to his relief, Smith did not often 
umpire after that. There was, however, one occasion 
on which Wiltshire provided the opposition and 
Razor sallied forth in the white coat with his watch 
in his pocket. W. G. had won the toss and just 
after Smith had seen that his watch showed the time 
to be one-fifty, he heard a clock outside the ground 
strike two. Grace was batting " as per usual," to use 
Smith's words when telling the story so he asked 
him what to do. The Old Man replied : " We'll 
have this over and then go in." It was tempting 
Providence. W. G. was caught and bowled before 
the adjournment. 

With Grace from Gloucestershire came Murch to 
be head of the ground-staff. Once swallows were 
flying very low when the men were working at the 
pitch. W. G. remarked : "I say, Bill, any one 
might catch one of those birds if only he were quick 
enough." Scarcely had he uttered the words when 
he made a grab at one and actually knocked it down 
with his hand at Murch' s feet. The bird was borne 
away in triumph and he had it stuffed. It is now in 
the hall of his house in Kent. He was then over 
fifty years of age. 

The Doctor always carried a whistle and it became 
a habit with him whenever he came within sight of 
the cricket ground to use it. This was the signal 
for Murch to materialize. In the event of his being 
unable to achieve the impossible for he was very 
deaf it fell to Dyer, who looked after W. G.'s 
cricket gear, to appear on the scene. Grace could not 
do things in a small way. Thus when he blew that 


whistle, there was no doubt about the fact. In- 
stantly the hitherto seemingly sleeping pavilion 
became alive with men. From all corners they 
seemed to tumble out of it, every one of them des- 
perately anxious to know " whether Bill 'ad 'card 
it." Yes, the Old Man was monarch of all he sur- 
veyed on those few beautiful acres, but a kindly 
hearted old monarch. 

That he was, however, also something of an auto- 
crat few would deny. None held more decided 
views than he, and he had a way with him that 
brooked no evasion on the part of others. An inci- 
dent at a certain club game showed this. In order 
to make the most of his ground, he was obliged now 
and then to play more than one match on the same 
pitch. So it came to pass that a certain wicket 
on which two comparatively small scoring games had 
already been played was selected for a full day match. 
The visitors had their ground-man playing for them. 
W. G. won the toss. On reaching the pitch, the 
ground-man said to his captain loud enough for the 
Doctor to hear : " Surely we ain't going to play on 
this wicket ? JI " Why not ? " rapped out W. G. at 
once. " Why it's an old pitch. I s'pose it's some 
old dodge of yours," replied the fellow very rudely. 
Grace wheeled round to walk to the pavilion and as he 
did so he thundered to the visiting captain : " Unless 
that man apologizes, there'll be no match to-day," 
and went on his way. The match was played and 
any one who knew W. G. can picture the delight 
with which he kept the visitors in the field until 
nearly five o'clock : " just to show 'em there's 
nothin' much the matter with the wicket," as he put 
it. The biter generally was badly bitten when he 
tried to fix his teeth in the Doctor. 

Sometimes he seemed a little perturbed by the 
number opposed to him. Once in April he lost the 
toss against XVIII of Sydenham and District. 
Alan Marshal bowled the first ball which was duly 

DR. W. G. GRACE 303 

snicked into my hands only just clear of the turf, at 
first slip. Being in a generous mood, I flung the 
ball straight back to Marshal. W. G. at point 
looked first at me then at the Queenslander I can 
see his hand now in the favourite position, stroking 
his beard as his head moved quickly from side to side 
and then, sharply : " Wasn't it a catch, Sewell ? " 
" I thought so," I replied, " but I saw the batsman 
didn't, so I chucked it back." " Don't Jet's have 
any more of that," he said ; " there are sixteen more 
of them in the pavilion." 

Wiltshire arrived one day at the Palace with a 
bowler whom W. G. had never seen and, to do Audley 
Miller, the Wiltshire captain, full justice, I do not 
think that he had seen much of his man either. Of 
course the Doctor won the toss and just as Miller was 
arranging the field for the new bowler, W. G. took 
his soundings : " Say, Audley, what kind of a bowler 
is this ? ' Miller was not in the least anxious to 
show his hand, so he replied cheerily : " He mixes 
'em up a bit, Old Man." The over passed off 
quietly ; to the intense relief of the colt W. G. appear- 
ing to find unseen trouble in almost every ball. As 
they were crossing before the next over, Grace did not 
fail to whisper : " Audley, we'll give him mix-up 
before we've done with him." " And," as Miller 
remarked emphatically to me, " he did." It was 
one of the strongest points of W. G.'s game that he 
never took a fresh bowler on trust. He treated each 
new one as a Turner or a Briggs until he had satisfied 
himself to the contrary, a duty which did not take 
him long. He never applied the full weight of his 
art until he was sure what he was up against and 
then he just leant on the ball to take his four. 

There was one marked peculiarity about his con- 
duct of the day's play which I have never heard any 
other cricketer comment on. When writing down 
the order of going in and you asked him where your 
place was, or he happened to look up and see you 


anxiously awaiting the verdict, he would always use 
the verb " to come " and not " to go." Thus invari- 
ably it was : " You come in such and such a wicket," 
never " you go in such and such wicket down." 
Force of habit no doubt. For years he had seen 
practically the whole of his eleven come in to him 
to try to keep up an end while he won the match, 
but rarely had he sat and watched them go in to 
save it, if possible, after he was out. 

The following incident is typical of many wickets 
he obtained in London County matches. A batsman 
strange to his methods came in. W. G. began 
assiduously to rearrange his field, waving short-leg 
a yard or two this way, mid-on four deeper and then, 
to all appearance satisfied, he would bring his right 
arm round with the well-known circular motion as 
he paused at the beginning of his shufHe up to bowl. 
Suddenly something wrong in the position of short- 
slip arresting his attention, he would stop and motion 
him a foot wider. Meanwhile the hapless victim of 
all these careful preparations stood rooted to the 
spot where he had last placed his feet. He would 
follow all the Old Man's movements by the uncom- 
fortable process of screwing his neck round. When 
his muscles were stiffened by this effort, he would 
look up just in time to see that the huge man had 
recommenced his shuffle. Of course he anticipated a 
much faster ball was coming than W. G. ever bowled. 
There followed a slow, painfully careful, forward 
stroke, neither foot answering the helm in the least 
there was stamping down the pitch as of a battery 
galloping into action a cocked-up ball a catch a 
chuckle the ball thrown by a sort of under-arm 
jerk to the nearest fieldsman and a pensive batsman 
wending his way pavilion-wards wondering how such 
a slow ball was ever likely to have reached short-slip. 

There can, I imagine, be little doubt that very 
often W. G. unintentionally bowled a very close 
resemblance to the " googlie." The lurch of his 

DR. W. G. GRACE 305 

delivery and the way the ball left his hand gave it a 
certain amount of spin from leg infinitesimal com- 
pared with that of Braund or of G. A. Faulkner 
but also with a certain amount of top-spin. With 
the wind blowing from the direction of point such a 
ball began to lose its momentum, would incline 
inwards from the off in the air. I have never seen 
any other bowler at all like W. G. He appeared 
to be much faster than he was, he appeared to be sure 
to break from leg, whereas, he often " went " the 
other way and yet his bowling was much faster off 
the pitch than seemed likely while the ball was in the 

Of course he was long past his best as a batsman 
when I played with him. To me his batting appeared 
to be largely a matter of fore-arm power. He made 
a number of strokes in which his body did not seem 
to take much more interest in the proceedings than 
merely to lean in the required direction for his fore- 
arms to do the rest. An exception was in the case of 
the skied hit over or towards long-on made off an 
off-break. Here there was a kind of momentary 
heave from the hips upwards while getting the begin- 
ning of the hit and then, with his left cheek tucked 
into his left shoulder, he let the ball have it fair and 
square, finishing up with the left side of his left 
leg still towards the bowler and bat, hands and 
wrists brought round over his left shoulder. His cut 
was more of a heavy dab at the ball, which he caused 
so accurately to find the driving part of the bat, 
than the slashing flashing stroke Tyldesley played 
so well. He rarely cut late, but generally past 
point's left hand the cut proper. He cut off the 
right foot the long-hop which others often cut off. the 
left foot, sending it past cover's right hand. He 
never played straight bowling anywhere but straight, 
except an occasional sort of push stroke beyond mid- 
on. Invariably when he was in doubt, and almost 
always in any event, his right leg was moved to 


before the stumps. This was done in obedience to 
the principle of getting over the ball, and in this 
respect W. G. in action was an everlasting and insur- 
mountable obstacle to those experts who animadvert 
against placing the right leg before the stumps on the 
ground that it is not cricket. 

As to the type of bowling W. G. seemed to prefer 
in these years, I never noted any marked preference. 
If there was any it was for medium fast. Very slow 
or very fast appeared to bother him. It was a 
bother of limb and not of failing eyesight, as that 
remained wonderful. I remember, in a match with 
Leicestershire in 1901, how he stopped a very quick 
off-break from Geeson and then shook his finger 
warningly at the bowler. Geeson had been put on 
the Index Expurgatorius of bowlers during the 
previous winter and it was generally known that 
while his leg-break was sans peur et sans reproche 
the same could not be said of his off-break. In 
spite of the very bad light in which he was batting, 
W. G. had spotted instantly the only off-break sent 

I saw him have one of his narrowest squeaks of 
" bagging a brace " in first-class cricket. This was 
at the Palace in June, 1906, against Cambridge 
University. He was c. Eyre b. May o in the first 
innings and should have been run out easily before 
scoring in the second, but third man threw wide in his 
legitimate keenness. A single was scored and W. G. 
was out in the next over, c. Eyre b. Napier i. Alas 
batsman, catcher and bowler all died within a short 
time of each other in the same year. 

That the Old Man did a lot to bring forward com- 
paratively unknown cricketers is undeniably and 
cordially acknowledged by them. Among the num- 
ber may be cited the Oxfordshire amateur W. Smith, 
both the Kent and Northants Seymours, Alan Mar- 
shal who came with a letter of introduction from 
Dr. Macdonald " Razor " Smith, Bale, L. Walker, 

DR. W. G. GRACE 307 

P. R. May, E. C. Kirk and J. Gilman. Braund was 
known before he played with W. G., but he learnt a 
great deal from that experience. 

To Murdoch, the Old Man himself was generally 
Bill Grace or " The Kent Colt," as he would have it 
that his real reason in coming to the Crystal Palace 
was to qualify for Kent. I can fully agree with the 
Anglo- Australian that only the joys of cricket were 
experienced in W. G.'s company. It was his ever 
effervescent boyish ways that sometimes gave an 
air of " ragging " to a particular game. Slackness, 
never ; his ailment was over-keenness, if the truth 
must be told. 

From his life at the Crystal Palace there were two 
inseparable associations. One was an ancient pair 
of pads which he wore at practice. It would be 
interesting to know where they were made. They 
had several holes punched in them for ventilation 
and year after year turned up as part of his kit, never 
seeming much the worse for wear. The other was 
the boyish joke he used to spring on new-comers. 
Rising after lunch, he would stoop as though to pick 
up something and cry out : " Hullo, any one lost half 
a sovereign ? " After a general fidgeting and 
examination of exchequers all round, perhaps some 
novice would reply : " Yes, Doctor, I think I have." 
Whereupon W. G. would fling him a coin with : 
"Well, there's a ha'penny of it I have just found." 

At practice I never saw W. G. without pads or 
gloves. He always favoured those gloves with the 
big pieces of black indiarubber on the fingers and 
never wore skeleton pads, because, as he said, off 
them the ball retains a certain liveliness which may 
take it on to your wicket, whereas the ordinary kind 
kills the ball. His boots were naturally of very 
useful dimensions and he always had plenty of short 
nails in the soles and heels. He was never the least 
bit bothered about his foothold on any kind of turf, 
and I cannot recollect ever having seen him hit on the 


fingers. But there was one terrific welt over the 
heart I saw him get. He missed a full toss from the 
Australian express bowler Cotter and the force of the 
ball was not broken by having touched bat or fingers 
before it landed on his left chest. Next day I saw 
the bruise : without exaggeration it was as large as 
a saucer and on a somewhat stormy background as 
it was, it reminded one rather of Turner's " Fighting 

From the remarks he let fall, W. G. enjoyed the 
evening of his cricket career quite as much as he had 
its high noon. Few of us ever played more enjoy- 
able cricket than in our London County matches, 
whether first or second class. The very presence of 
the great Englishman, a big man so typical of 
a great race, with his jovial manliness and his warm 
heart made our spirits rise. The high-pitched voice 
or cheery laughter of that dear old boy was ever and 
anon wafted to us as evidence of what a jolly game 
we were taking part in. I cannot do better than 
conclude with the lines of a capital cricketer D. L. A. 
Jephson. To any one who had the honour of know- 
ing W. G., they must appear particularly apposite. 

" With what great zest through all your merry years, 
Did you not cast into a million hearts 
The golden spirit of our England's game, 
To hearts that otherwise had passed it by ! 
Dead ; and from Death a myriad memories rise 
Deathless ; we thank you, friend, that once you lived." 

Percy G. Gale writes : 

" If my friendship with W. G. Grace began late in 
life, it became a warm one. In fact the inner group 
of the London County Club was like a happy family. 
Grace himself was known as Father, W. L. Murdoch 
as Muvver, ' Livey ' Walker as the Babe and I as 
Granny why I was given that nickname I do not 
remember, unless it was because I was slow in the 
field. I never played a first-class match until I 

DR. W. G. GRACE 309 

was thirty-seven and my only prolonged season was 
then, in 1900. But I played a rare lot of club cricket 
with W. G., and invariably he showed the same 
tremendous relish for the game, always extremely 
kind to younger players, himself rather like a big 
rollicking lovable boy in fact it was love he in- 
spired amongst those often with him. 

No story about W. G. is so well known as his 
writing to Phil May to know why in a caricature he 
had sketched short-leg wearing gloves, and the 
artist replying on a post-card ' to keep his hands 
warm.' But here is a sequel : I have myself played 
in a cricket-match with W. G. in the present century 
in which he actually fielded at point wearing wicket- 
keeping-gloves for precisely the same purpose. 

I once ran W. G. out very badly when I was his 
partner. I would have given the world to have 
crossed him after my call, but could not do it. He 
was very angry at my getting him out, and he told 
me so pretty forcibly when I soon followed him com- 
pulsorily to the pavilion. But fury was soon spent 
with the dear old man, and not a quarter of an hour 
afterwards, his big hand was laid on my shoulder 
as he invited me ' to come and have a whisky.' I 
remember running Murdoch out just as badly, but, 
as he passed me on the way to the tent, all he said 
was, ' Now you've to make a century just because I 
cannot.' He did not mind for even the space of an 

Once W. G. was the victim of a small boy. It was 
at Chesterfield and he had something on a race and 
wanted to know the result. He and I were walking 
inside the ropes during the match when a boy 
shouted ' Special.' ' Here you are,' said W. G., 
giving him twopence. I noticed the boy made a 
precipitate bolt. On opening the paper, Grace found 
it was the advertisement sheet of a morning half- 
penny issue. 

I was always struck with the fatherly way W. G. 


looked after his people. There can be no harm now 
in saying that at times the authorities at the Crystal 
Palace found difficulty in meeting their financial 
obligations, so every Saturday morning Grace made 
a point of going to see that his groundsmen were 
duly paid. Dyer, the pavilion attendant at the 
Palace, was a quaint individual. Once I asked W. G. 
why he had brought him from Bristol. ' Well it was 
this way,' replied the Old Man in his characteristic 
fashion ; ' when I was leaving for the Crystal Palace, 
Dyer told me he had had a dream that I was taking 
him with me, so of course he had to come. And 
when I was moving to Eltham, he said to me that it 
was an odd thing but he had had another dream that 
he was going to be my gardener, and so it had to be, 
of course.' I saw Dyer on a mourning coach at the 
great man's funeral. 

W. G. had a jolly way of proclaiming what was to be 
done. In Cyphers v. London County, he said, ' Come, 
along, Granny, we've both to make hundreds,' and 
we did. On this occasion he went in pretty late. 

Every one will truly tell you W. G. never played 
for his averages, but here is a burlesque incident to 
prove the contrary. It was in this century and the 
last match of the season. I perpetrated the fact that 
in club cricket Murdoch averaged 70 and Poidevin 
99. ' And what do I average ? ' asked Grace. ' If 
you made 86 not out to-day, you would average ioo/ 
was my reply. ' Very good,' he ejaculated into his 
beard. He proceeded to bat admirably and when 
his own score was 86, declared the innings closed. 
' Must beat those boys once more,' was his chuckling 
comment. This is the only time I ever heard him 
refer to his own average. 

The last time he and SpofEorth ever met in a 
match was L.C.C. v. Hampstead. Each bowled the 
other out, and curiously enough each of them took no 
other wicket in the innings. 

Once, at Sutton, W. G. declared and lost the 

DR. W. G. GRACE 311 

match. He had fifteen catches missed off his own 
bowling. He stood watching misses at last with an 
expression almost of amusement on his face. At 
length he dropped one himself. ' Missing catches 
seems catching/ he grumbled as he picked up the 

He had a masterful way with him at need. I 
recollect a batsman disputing an l.b.w. decision on an 
appeal W. G. made off his own bowling. The cham- 
pion raised his head and thundered : ' Pavilion you.' 
Those two words were enough. The batsman retired 

On Victoria Day, I recollect our team singing 
' God Save the Queen ' in the field, W. G. conducting 
by waving a stump. He made top score on that 
occasion remembering all his career, one is almost 
tempted to add, as usual." 

G. W. Beldam, as thoughtful in criticism as at 
cricket, golf or photography, writes : 

" I well remember my first meeting with W. G., 
the idol of every one's boyhood. I had been fairly 
successful for some years as a club cricketer and my 
friends were even keener than I was myself that I 
should come into first-class cricket ; but for some 
three years before W. G. came to London or even 
thought of doing so, I had a strong presentiment 
that if I came into first-class cricket it would be 
through knowing W. G. For some time after 
London County Cricket Club was founded I preferred 
to play for my old clubs, but one day in the Oval 
pavilion I was introduced to W. G. by D. L. A. 
Jephson and it seemed to me I had known him 
a long time. Thus commenced an acquaintance 
which became one of close personal intimacy. 

In the first matches I soon saw what a great and 
genuine desire he had to be of real assistance to aspir- 
ants for first-class cricket, and how naturally and 


quickly he made excuses for any failure where he saw 
he was dealing with ' triers ' ; but there was no 
doubt about his attitude towards ' slackers/ and 
because of this those who knew him only by name, 
were apt to misjudge his attitude in this respect. 
There never was any man more ready to make an 
excuse or to sympathize with failure or more keenly 
joyful at the success of those playing under him 
than the dear Old Man. To play under him was to 
worship him, so that he drew out the highest effort. 
To know him was to love him. 

I remember in the match London County v. Wilt- 
shire being fearfully bewildered at something he did. 
He was standing point and twice appealed for ' leg 
before wicket ' from that position. Having only just 
come to know him I did not like even to mention it 
to any one, but I remember it struck me as very 
extraordinary that he, with such a knowledge of the 
game, should appeal from a position in which it was 
evident that he could only be approximately sure 
that the ball had pitched in a fine between the 

In the pavilion he gave me the opportunity which 
I hardly expected. When Wiltshire were in the 
field he turned to me and said : ' I say, George, that 
chap fielding point isn't much good, is he ? ' I said : 
' Do you mean because he doesn't appeal for leg 
before wicket, Doctor ? ' Then I thought I had gone 
too far, but my doubts were immediately dispelled 
by him coming for me, laughing all over his face and 
chasing me round the table. 

The only time I ever remember him even look- 
ing angry for the moment with me, was when he was 
bowling, and I was put in the long field. The ball 
was skied and dropped about fifteen yards over mid- 
on's head. I started to run from long-on and then 
seeing I could not possibly get to it, was hoping to 
get the batsmen to run two, with a chance of a ' run- 
out/ Then I heard : ' Come to her, George, come to 

DR. W. G. GRACE 313 

her.' They ran two and the ' run-out ' nearly came 
off, but W. G. was too intent on his own idea that I 
ought to have attempted the catch. I remember 
saying : ' Look here, Doctor, I can't do the hundred 
in five seconds ! ' and heard some mumbled words 
from him. He may have been right, but I didn't 
think he was. 

Another little anecdote which will show one of his 
characteristics so well known to those who played 
with him often. When he was bowling, just as he 
was about to start his ' run up ' to deliver the ball 
(and just as the batsman had prepared to watch him) 
he would stop and order short-leg to move a little 
this way or that, or deep long-on to move further 
round, etc., and then he would proceed most likely 
to bowl the ball well on the off-side of the wicket. 
One day ' Billy ' Murdoch was fielding nearly all day 
at short-leg and W. G. bowled a good deal that day 
(I think it was Surrey v. London County). When 
Murdoch came into the pavilion he slapped the Old 
Man on the back and said : ' Look here, Old Man, 
the next time I play with you I'll have a large packet 
of small flags in my pocket, and every time you move 
me, I'll place one in the ground and before the match 
is over, I shan't have any place to put my feet ! ' 
There were roars of laughter for ' Billie ' had humor- 
ously laid bare one of the Old Man's favourite little 
tricks. Yet even in these, the Doctor was a true 
artist very rarely did he overdo it ; the batsman 
was only kept just for a fraction of a second during 
which his attention was distracted from the bowler 
to the man who was being moved just a little further 
this way or that, but possibly enough to make him 
wonder what was in the champion's mind and hence 
gave less concentration to the ball. But in this, as 
I saw and observed, the dear Old Man had to do with 
the finer points of the game a question of general- 
ship. I've seen other generals go much further with 
nothing like the artistic ability of W. G. To W. G. 


these finer points were simply the question of 
strategy. No one ever spotted the weakness of a 
batsman quicker than W. G., or knew how best to 
bring about his downfall or cramp his shots. 

Another story which happened in a match, London 
County v. Worcester Beagles on the Palace ground. 
W. G. captained the Beagles and got a well-known 
M.C.C. cricketer to captain London County. The 
Beagles batted first and the innings was nearly com- 
pleted, when two other men appeared and begged W. G, 
to see if the eleven aside could not be altered to 
twelve aside : W. G. asked the permission of the Lon- 
don County skipper, who readily agreed. When the 
Beagles were led into the field by W. G. the London 
County captain noticed he was taking twelve into 
the field, and objected, ' As,' said he, ' we have only 
fielded eleven through the greater part of your 
innings.' 'Oh! but,' said W. G., 'we have 
agreed to play twelve aside and I'm going to field 
twelve.' ' Very well,' said the London County 
skipper, ' in that case I shall not bat, but sit and 
smoke a cigar and watch you.' ' Do just as you like,' 
said W. G. And the London County skipper was 
as good as his word. On coming in from the field 
W. G. walked up to the London County captain with : 
' Well, old man, you did as you said you would, and I 
don't blame you,' and patting him on the shoulder 
added, ' I should have done the same myself.' 

In spotting promising young players he had 
scarcely an equal, and any one mentioned in the dis- 
patches of W. G. was sure of achieving high honours. 
His judgment was rarely, if ever, at fault. He knew 
by instinct and was quick to place the true value on 
the cricketer, though to others it was not so evident. 

There is a story told that in a certain London 
County match, a club cricketer was playing for the 
first time, and when W. G. asked him where he 
would like to go in, he answered : ' Well, Doctor, 
I don't mind, but I've never made a " duck " in my 

DR. W. G. GRACE 315 

life.' W. G. looked at him only as he could look 
as at some rare avis for nothing ever escaped his 
observant eyes, and said : ' What ! never made a 
blob in your life ? then last is your place : you 
haven't played long enough ! ' 

One would often get a letter from him, asking one 
to turn out for him in such and such a match, and as 
an inducement, where the player was a bowler as 
well as a bat, he would add, ' Thornbury Rules.' 
This meant you went in first with him and went on 
to bowl first also. I suspect this came from a habit 
in vogue in the village of Thornbury, famous for" the 
Graces in earlier years. 

The secret of W. G.'s power in drawing out the 
best in those playing under him, was not altogether 
his great and fascinating personality on the field, 
but he saw to it that those forming his team were a 
happy family. He never could have ' put on side * 
he was far too natural for that. He was one with 
nature and a most keen observer. Nothing, how- 
ever small, seemed to escape him, and his abundant 
and never- varying keenness just showed that in the 
big frame was the heart of a child enjoying every- 
thing to the full. It was just the same whether it 
was a village match, or some team he had taken 
down to a country house, or Gentlemen v. Players r 
or England v. Australia just the same keenness, 
just the same boyish delight. The remembrance of 
him will always bring to me the sunshine, the green 
fields, and everything worth remembering. All the 
greatest cricketers of many generations loved the 
Old Man : had he not seen them all grow up ; had he 
not given them all many a valued and cheery word ? 
I've never come across any great cricketer who was 
jealous of W. G.'s reputation, but was rather jealous 
for his reputation. 

His style seemed to be a blend of all the styles 
which came after him, and the action photos show 
his exceptional wrist work, timing the blow with the 


wrists on to the ball, and notwithstanding his colossal 
frame, making strokes with perfect ease and little 
or no apparent effort. I was especially keen when 
he took up golf to compare his golf shots with his 
cricket strokes displace the cricket bat by a golf 
club in many of his photos and you have a perfect 
finish for a golf shot, and it was not surprising that 
lie showed exceptional form for one taking up golf 
when well over fifty years of age. It may interest 
some to know that he owned he never attempted to 
' pull ' a ball at cricket till after he was forty. 

Every one seemed to know W. G. Wherever you 
went with him boys came past him, just to touch 
him and say : ' I touched 'im ' ; and one constantly 
heard, ' There's W. G.,' and he seemed hardly able 
to move anywhere without being at once publicly 
recognized ; and yet he was least conscious of all 
always his simple natural self. He was once playing 
for me v. Hanwell Asylum, where he was recognized 
and remembered as ' W. G.' by many of the inmates 
who had seen him on the field, some running up and 
.shaking hands with him. One wrote him a long 
letter and its contents were especially humorous 
and caused W. G. to laugh heartily. The writer 
remembered W. G. playing somewhere in the seven- 
ties at Clifton and he placed the time, because he 
well remembered that the weather cock on the church 
steeple came down and fed on the green ! 

One can only give impressions ; for where W. G. 
was playing many incidents occurred too numerous 
lo mention. It was given to those who were privi- 
leged to know him in his home-life, to see his true 
character. In the lives of great men one notices 
how much they owed to the simplicity of their home- 
life, of which their careers are a reflex. This was 
essentially true of W. G. ; if you had learnt to love 
him on the field you would love him even more when 
you saw him in his home just the simple, natural, 
and true English gentleman. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 317 

It was rarely indeed that he could be persuaded 
to stay away from his home for week-ends or a visit. 
He was wholly attached to his home and all that 
made it home to him. He was no mean gardener 
and kept his putting green to perfection, where he 
developed in later years his ability in putting, and 
this, as well as his straightness down the course, made 
him a partner worth having in a foursome. 

He rarely forgot a promise ; he was generally as 
good as his word. I remember before the last 
match he played, Gentlemen v. Players at the Oval 
in 1906, he took a fancy to a bat in my bag. I gave 
it to him on one condition, viz. : that he should return 
it to me if he made 100 with his signature on it, and 
the score, etc. ; he thought that quite a good bargain 
and not likely to be fulfilled, but he went very near 
and made 74 the last innings he ever played for the 
Gentlemen. He kept the bat but sent it back to me 
at the end of the season, duly signed and attested, 
and I prize it greatly." 

Final Matches and Anecdotes 


NO more impressive tribute to the personal worth 
of W. G. Grace could be afforded than the 
way in which his individuality appealed favourably 
to men in every rank of life. In these pages will be 
found abundant testimony that from the highest 
to the lowliest in the whole Empire his name was not 
only a household word, but also that without excep- 
tion he himself created a marked and favourable 
impression on everybody with whom he came in con- 
tact. It was not only the cricketer but the man 
who was universally liked. In proof of this, it was 
with particular pleasure that the co-editors received 
an intimation that H. R. H. Prince Christian of 
Schleswig-Holstein would be good enough to accede 
to their desire that he should contribute his impres- 
sions of the champion. The Prince had been so 
regular a spectator of the principal matches, gener- 
ally sitting between Lord Coventry and Lord Cado- 
gan, that, had he chosen, he could have written in 
much more decisive fashion, but the quiet modesty 
of the communication in itself demonstrates the 
unostentatiously kindly fashion in which one veteran 
himself excelling at some sports and a critical 
patron of others put forward an appreciative and 
appreciated memorandum. He wrote as follows : 


DR. W. G. GRACE 319 

" I gladly accede to the request to write a few 
lines for Dr. W. G. Grace's biography, because I had 
a strong liking and respect for W. G. I lack the 
expert knowledge necessary to justify me in attempt- 
ing to discuss his cricket from the technical point of 
view. But although I have not myself played 
cricket, I feel that a tolerably wide experience of 
other great sports, such as hunting, shooting and 
racing, enabled me to sympathize with the ideas of 
-cricketers and to take an intelligent interest in their 
doings. My two sons began at an early age to show 
more than average promise at the game ; so it is now 
a good many years since I commenced to watch the 
play on my own and on other grounds in the neigh- 
bourhood of Windsor, and also at Lord's and the Oval, 
encouraging them to persevere at a recreation of 
whose value I have a high opinion. As they con- 
tinued to make progress, the one at Wellington, the 
other at Charterhouse, the class of cricket played at 
Cumberland Lodge naturally improved. 

Later, when my dear elder son, the late Prince 
Christian Victor, was making for himself at Oxford 
a reputation as batsman and wicket-keeper of which 
I was, and still am, extremely proud, he brought 
to our ground men bearing names famous in the 
history of the game. One was C. I. Thornton who, 
by the way, made one of his biggest hits at Cumber- 
land Lodge : we still show to visitors where the ball 
struck the stable wall, some hundred and forty yards 
from the wicket. It was either through him or my 
lder son, that I made W. G.'s acquaintance at Lord's. 
I do not think that it needed any great insight, or a 
varied experience of men and affairs, to detect that he 
possessed the qualities which produce greatness in 
any sphere of activity courage, endurance, self- 
confidence, concentration and, I would add, geni- 
ality. W. G.'s success at cricket was a foregone 
conclusion and is now a matter of history. My per- 
sonal acquaintance with him enables me to under- 


stand why that success was welcome, not only to his 
own side, and to the general public, but even to his 

As I think over the occasions on which I met him 
I particularly remember the last match in which I 
saw him play against the Australians at Lord's. He 
was past even his second youth ; I believe he was 
already a grandfather, and certainly not more than 
two or three of his colleagues had been born when he 
made his first century off Australian bowling. He 
made an indifferent stroke in his first over and the 
expert critics I was sitting with suggested that his 
day was over and that he should have resigned his 
place to a younger player. It is a pleasure to me to 
remember that I bade them wait and see. W. G. 
batted splendidly after his one mistake and made 
well over fifty. Just to show that his first feeble 
stroke was an accident, he hit the ball almost into 
the clock towards the finish of his innings. Perhaps 
it was rash of me to set my opinion against that of 
the connoisseurs, but I knew W. G. to be a great man 
and greatness has a way of rising to critical occasions. 

Others better qualified than I must do justice to 
the deeds of the Grand Old Man on the cricket- 
field. It is one which ought to be accomplished with 
all possible thoroughness ; for W. G. made cricket 
what it is, and cricket, I have no doubt whatever, 
is among the most valuable possessions of the 

Once more A. C. M. Croome consents to help with a 
lively narrative of the match in which Prince Chris- 
tian displayed such good-natured interest as well as 
hospitality. He writes : 

" The last time that I met W. G. Grace on the 
cricket-field was at Cumberland Lodge, when we 
played for Prince Christian's Veterans Team v. 
Charterhouse. I fancy this was the last match of 


Taken on the last occasion when they both played in the same match. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 321 

more than local interest in which W. G. took part. 
Our team consisted of Prince Albert (captain), W. G. 
Grace, A. G. Steel, A. J. Webbe, P. J. de Paravicini, 
E. Smith, C. C. Clarke, F. Dames Longworth, W. H. 
Brain, A. C. M. Croome and J. R. Mason. I put 
Jack Mason last because he was not properly a 
veteran, but when Stoddart had to cry off, he was 
brought in, in case of accidents. 

Before the end of the day we needed him badly, 
because the Charterhouse boys declined to be per- 
suaded out by W. G. and made over 320. We did 
not miss a great many catches either and Webbe 
caught a marvellous one at mid-off. Mason, in 
consequence, had quite a nice bowl. In reply we 
made 280 odd, but W. G., to everybody's extreme 
annoyance, failed to score. He went in first with 
' Nab ' Steel, and in the Carthusian fast bowler's 
first over received one to cut. He made the stroke 
beautifully with all the old snap of the wrists and a 
good deal of shoulder-punch behind it, but a boy, 
standing where no fielder normally stands, got one 
hand down to the ball just before it hit ground to race 
to the boundary and held it. 

At luncheon I sat next a boy whose father had 
played for Gloucestershire. He told me of the fact 
and afterwards I introduced him to W. G. ' Very 
glad to make your acquaintance/ said the Old Man, 
' and I hope you're a better fielder than your father 
was. He was the worst that ever I did see.' I do 
not suppose anybody ever minded criticism of this 
kind from W. G. It was of course absolutely authori- 
tative and it was expressed with a simple geniality 
which removed all cause of offence. 

In the course of the afternoon, the Prince of Wales 
came over from Windsor, where he had that day 
been admitted Knight of the Garter. He and W. G. 
had a long talk on the Cumberland Lodge ground 
and were sufficiently interested to let their attention 
wander from the game. They had a narrow escape 



of being cut over by an on-drive of Paravicini's. 
Thanks to the kindness of Prince Christian, it is 
possible to illustrate these pages with a photograph 
of the meeting of the Prince and the Past-master." 

To the memoir of H.H. Prince Christian Victor, 
W. G. Grace himself contributed some recollections 
from which may be extracted : 

" I first met him, I remember, at the Oval, when 
he was looking on at one of the big matches with his 
good father. The next occasion was when he was 
at Oxford in 1886, when I was asked to meet him at 
breakfast at Oriel College by the Rev. A. G. Butler, 
Dean of Oriel. He came with the President of 
Magdalen, to whose college he belonged. He was 
a fine bat and good safe field and wicket-keeper. 
We were always great friends ; I never saw him at 
Lord's or the Oval and I met him often at both 
places without having a good chat with him ; he 
was always the same nice, good fellow. It was at 
Lord's I saw him last just before he went to the front. 
Little did I think as we chatted that I should never 
see him again." 

Numerous instances have been received of Grace's 
kindness to children. For example, a lady writes : 

" A great many years ago, my small brother and I 
were spending the day on the Sussex County Ground 
at Brighton, watching a match in which Dr. Grace 
was playing. During the luncheon hour we were 
gazing at the pitch when Dr. Grace came up and 
began talking to us. He asked first if we had had 
our lunch and was much amused when we cheerfully 
said : ' Rather ; buns and lemonade.' He then 
inquired if we were fond of cricket and often watched 
matches. We told him in the holidays we did 
nothing else. Then he told my brother to give him 


DR. W. G. GRACE 323 

' a ball or two ' and turning to me : ' You can go and 
field.' For about five minutes he played with us, 
much to the amused interest of the audience and to 
our own pride and pleasure. Neither of us could 
ever forget his kindness and he always remained 
our cricket hero." 

On another occasion W. G. Grace was practising 
at the nets in the Park at Oxford and spectators 
were throwing back the balls he hit to the bowlers 
as they fielded them. One small boy instead of 
returning the ball, walked up to the stump and when 
his turn came sent quite a good delivery down and 
lo ! W. G. was bowled. Nobody, not the boy himself , 
was more pleased than the champion, who beckoned 
the little chap to come up to him and grasped him 
heartily by the hands, obviously commending him. 

In 1875, a small boy of twelve (who as a veteran 
forwards the reminiscence) wandered on to the 
ground to see the practice before the Sussex v. 
Gloucestershire match at Brighton. In his hand 
was a new ball just given to him, which he was 
examining carefully. Suddenly, over his shoulder 
loomed a tall bearded figure and in kindly tones came 
the question : " Hullo, youngster, can you bowl ? 
Come and give me a ball." Highly excited, for the 
lad knew who he was bowling to, he sent down three 
deliveries which W. G. Grace was good enough to 
play back, but the fourth pitching a bit short, he 
stepped out and landed it right on to the old skating- 
rink which at that time formed a part of the ground. 
The boy quickly recovered the ball, but to his 
dismay through travelling along nearly the whole 
length of the concrete surface it was severely 
chipped, and whilst he ruefully contemplated it, he 
was aroused by a cheery : " Has it scratched it a bit ? 
Never mind. Come along with me and get some 
chocolates." So the small lad trotted and the 
Leviathan strode down to Julian's (the ground 


caterer) and the latter compensated the former with 
a shilling box of chocolates. " The news of W. G.'s 
death almost brought the taste of those particular 
chocolates to my mouth again after forty years. 
It may have been a small matter, but it throws a 
light on his kindly actions." 

When W. G. Grace was living at Bristol, he came 
striding down Ashley Hill one breezy morning at 
that pace his friends knew so well and his eye caught 
the up-turned, admiring gaze of a little chap, who 
had just been told by his father : " Here conies 
W. G." The great man greeted him : " Hullo, are you 
going to be a cricketer too ? " " Yes, sir," said the 
boy, who had already began to cherish aspirations 
for centuries. " Then give me your hand on it and 
enjoy the game as much as I do," answered W. G. 
and heartily shook hands. Imagine the unforget- 
table pleasure that gave to the little fellow. 

F. S. Ashley-Cooper furnishes additional testimony 
as follows : 

" One year at Hastings, W. G. was challenged to 
play a single-wicket match by Miss Mariquita Kath- 
leen Smith, the little daughter of that superb hitter 
Ernest Smith. Owing to rain there was delay in 
admitting the public to the ground and it was during 
the enforced wait that the encounter took place in 
front of the pavilion. Ernest Smith and Lord 
Hawke fielded for the fair enthusiast, off whose first 
delivery the great man was caught by her father. 
W. G. was eventually beaten hands down, but took 
the discomfiture gleefully, remarking that he might 
have done better on a prepared pitch. Even when 
that young lady has grey hair she is still sure to 
recall the incident of her victory with a thrill of 
amused pleasure." 

When Grace came to Sydenham, one of the boys 
at Dulwich College conceived an ingenious plan for 

DR. W. G. GRACE 325 

seeing him. He was unwell and absolutely refused 
the attentions of the family practitioner, declaring 
that the only physician he would see was Dr. W. G. 
Grace. Accordingly, as the lad was really ill, W. G. 
was called in by the parents. Whether it was through 
his advice or through the success of the boy's own 
scheme, the patient recovered with remarkable 
rapidity and ever since has remembered with delight 
the professional visits of the champion. 

He was always pursued by autograph hunters. 
Once, at Brighton, a schoolboy brought him an auto- 
graph book and a fountain pen, asking for his signa- 
ture which was duly given. A few weeks later at 
Lord's the same boy approached him with the same 
request. " But I gave you my autograph last 
month at Brighton," said the Doctor, who had a 
keen memory for faces. ' Yes," replied the boy, 
" but I swopped that for Dan Leno and a 

Such is fame. And in proof of its widespread 
character so far as Grace was concerned, J. A. S. 
McArthur writes that some twenty years ago he was 
travelling in the ulterior of Fiji and there met an old 
chief in a large wharre, who had been a cannibal and 
regretted the meals that were no more. By some 
incongruous chance, his room was decorated with 
two oleographs : one was of the late King Edward, 
then Prince of Wales, the other of W. G. 

Several instances have been given of the way in 
which Grace had the knack of getting the last word, 
but once at least he was scored off. He was waiting 
at Eynesford for the beagles and with a friend walked 
up to examine the ancient stocks that still stood on 
the village green. Whilst they were talking about 
them, a rustic came close beside them. With his 
face wreathed in smiles, W. G. turned to him and 
said : "I should like to see you in them." Slowly 
the fellow contemplated the burly veteran and then 
replied : "I think, sir, as 'ow you would fill 'em out 


better than me," which W. G. received with a hearty 
lit of laughter. 

Ernest Brown writes that W. G. Grace frequently 
visited him at Upminster when he had a cricket club 
and ground of his own there. On one occasion the 
team were playing at Warley. A few old cricketing 
fogies came to see the match as they heard Grace was 
likely to play, and asked our correspondent if they 
could speak to him. So in due course Grace was 
brought round, each was introduced individually 
and then the fun began. He gripped each man's 
hand with a cheery word, but that grip, which we all 
knew so well, left such an impression on them that 
the tears rolled down the cheeks of several of them. 
None, however, would say a word, but slyly 
watched the effect on his neighbour when it came to 
be his turn to be introduced. As the Old Man 
quitted them, he inquired with a twinkle in his eye : 
" Brown, d'ye think they'd all like to shake hands 
over again ? " 

In small L.C.C.C. fixtures, W. G. " seemed as 
merry and mischievous as a schoolboy, a typical 
example of one who, in heart at any rate, had never 
grown up. Rain stopped play on a certain occasion 
and the sides waited patiently whilst it poured in 
torrents. At last Grace grew restless and getting a 
brassie and a pocketful of old golf balls, he sallied 
forth. From the front of the pavilion he proceeded 
to make a score of drives across the ground (and very 
good some were), and then striding to the other side 
he drove as many as he could find back again. 
This went on for an hour at least in the pelting rain 
and then, with a mashie, he insisted on hitting up 
catches with golf balls to friends in the pavilion. 
He must have been wet through, but he did not seem 
to mind a bit, though he was then in his fifty-eighth 

He was playing for Worcester Park Beagles v. 
L.C.C.C. at the Crystal Palace and the opposing cap- 

DR. W. G. GRACE 327 

tain, who was batting, was rather too intent on 
backing up, which did not escape the notice of W. G. 
Presently, instead of delivering the ball, he stepped 
back and whipped off the bail, causing that captain 
to retire run out, much to his own disgust, but to the 
unconcealed delight of Grace. The remark that he 
made : " Just as well to make a cast-back some- 
times," was singularly appropriate and witty since 
he was playing for Beagles. 

" When L.C.C.C. was batting against Beddington 
in 1909 " writes one who played in the match 
" the bowler was about to deliver the ball, but 
dropped it and it rolled up the pitch and rested just 
half way between the wickets. He was just going 
to pick it up when W. G., who was batting, strode 
up the pitch, shouting " Don't touch it." He 
took careful aim and then hit the ball to the boun- 
dary, whilst about four fieldsmen close by stood 
watching him, all looking highly bewildered and 
taken aback. Grace then returned to his crease and, 
with his broad shoulders shaking with laughter, 
said : "I should have looked silly if I had missed it, 
shouldn't I ? " He would have been out if he had 
attempted to hit the ball twice, and as he was natur- 
ally not very fast at this period, if he had mishit it 
the ball would have been returned to the wicket- 
keeper and he would have been stumped. 

E. A. C. Thomson, the energetic secretary of the 
London Club Cricket Conference, is responsible for 
the tale of W. G. playing in a country cricket match 
and going in amidst tremendous applause from all 
the assembled village luminaries who settled down 
to see the great man perform. The local umpire 
was the postman, whose knowledge of the game was 
certainly of a doubtful nature. The third ball sent 
down struck the doctor on the side of the left leg. 
' How's that ? " yelled the expectant bowler. 
Without moving a muscle of his face, the postman- 
umpire shouted : " Not out, the ball hit the wrong 


leg." At that W. G. laughed heartily and said : 
" Quite so ; he delivered the ball to the wrong address, 
didn't he postman ? " 

The last time Grace played in Bristol was for the 
benefit match of Spry, who was head ground-man 
at Ashley Down. When W. T. Thompson caught 
him for a small score, general regret was expressed. 
Later two professionals were discussing the matter 
and one said if the catch had gone to him he should 
have dropped it. W. G. overheard the remark and 
sternly rebuked him: "Thompson was quite right; 
he played the game," was his subsequent summing- 

Rev. Walter Hawkins, President of the London 
Wesleyan Cricket League, writes that W. G. Grace 
took quite a paternal interest in their play. He 
would gather a really good side from those under 
him at the Crystal Palace annually to oppose the 
Nonconformist team and invariably played against 
it himself. The zest with which he laid his short- 
leg trap for these novices and the praise he accorded 
to those who " went for his bowling " with vigour 
have been recalled by some serving at the front, one 
" tenderly remembering the departed W. G., who was 
never too busy to rock our cricket cradle." 

It may be mentioned that Grace's last match for 
M.C.C. was played on June 26, 1913, against Old 
Charlton, when he scored 18. 

James Hall, writing from the Chief Censor's Office, 
relates that he was umpire in the last match that 
W. G. Grace ever played in, Eltham v. Grove Park on 
July 25, 1914. The champion gave an excellent 
exhibition, for he " batted admirably, going in with 
the score at 31 and carrying his bat. He got his 
runs all round the wicket, being especially strong 
on the off side. His chief hits included one five, 
six fours and seven twos." He had previously 
played throughout the Eltham cricket week, a fort- 
night before, the last big club match in which he 

DR. W. G. GRACE 329 

participated being against Blackheath when he went 
in last and saved the game for his side, playing out 
time. Hall writes of Grace's popularity in the dis- 
trict and how he helped on the game so much at 
Eltham where he resided after leaving Sydenham 
evidence that he still loved cricket at an age when 
hardly any one can indulge, in it, but in which his 
hand and eye had not lost their skill until the end. 
H. D. G. Leveson-Gower recalls how after the out- 
break of the war, when he himself was stationed at 
the Supply Reserve depot at Deptford, he often 
motored over for half an hour's chat with W. G.,. 
recalling past matches and getting him to give his 
opinions on cricketers they had both known. On 
one occasion Grace came to see all the girls working 
at the Foreign Cattle Market, and when he appeared 
they proceeded to sing " You made me love you." 
The Old Man stroked his beard and said: '" It strikes 
me I could be quite comfortable here." Probably 
the last match he ever watched was the charity one at 
Catford Bridge on behalf of the British Red Cross 
on Whit Monday, 1915, when he had a long conversa- 
tion with H. D. G. Leveson-Gower and Hobbs, yield- 
ing to the photographer's persuasion with good- 
natured acquiescence. The last time Leveson-Gower 
motored over, W. G. gave his photo to the soldier- 
driver, and this is believed to be the last he ever 

Grace at Other Sports 


Grace's enthusiasm was not confined to 
X cricket has been revealed in many instances 
in previous chapters. That he kept himself fit in 
winter by exercise of various sorts was in his opinion 
essential for his mature and prolonged success at the 
game with which he ever will be associated. It 
may, however, prove surprising to many who only 
connected him with the summer pursuit to learn 
with what enthusiasm he took part in other sports. 
In lieu of a more formal account, it has been con- 
sidered that it will prove of greater interest if some 
personal narratives be provided by friends who par- 
ticipated with him in the respective pursuits. 


Sir George Riddell writes : 

" W. G. was one of the most enthusiastic golfers 
I have ever met never tired and never bored. 
No weather deterred him. I have played with him 
in rain, snow, hail and thunderstorms. When he 
started for a day's golf, nothing kept him in the 
club-house. In the early days of motoring we made 
.a trip to Huntercombe. On the road we had a 



(From a photograph by G. W. Beldam.) 

DR. W. G. GRACE 331 

breakdown which detained us for several hours. 
W. G. wasted no time. He spent all the morning 
in an adjoining field, practising approach shots with 
great care and assiduity. When at last we arrived 
at our destination, he insisted on playing two rounds. 

He played a good steady game, the chief character- 
istic of which was remarkable wrist work. James 
Braid told me on several occasions that he had never 
seen any one who made such effective use of his 
wrists as W. G. He had a strong belief in practice, 
and frequently spent an hour in practising putting 
and approaching. The result was great proficiency. 
He rarely missed a holeable put. Difficult lies 
appeared to give him great satisfaction. Indeed, I 
think a large niblick which he possessed and which 
he called his cleaver was his most treasured club. 
W. G. loved playing in competitions, and invariably 
put in an appearance on competition days at Walton 
Heath. For some years he and a few friends, whose 
names I forget, were in the habit of playing a monthly 
competition for a medal provided by the players, the 
temporary ownership of whi^n caused W. G. much 

He was always full of fun and jocularity. One 
day I had a caddy who, as it turned out, had a glass 
eye, which, unobserved by me but not by W. G., he 
removed on the round. I said to W. G., ' When that 
boy started I am sure he had two eyes ! What has 
happened to him ? ' ' Nothing ! ' replied W. G. 
' He has two eyes all right. It's your imagination ! 
It's all due to your being a teetotaler ! Drunken 
men sometimes see double, and sometimes tee- 
totalers only see a half ! If you will take a glass of 
whisky when you get into the club-house, you will 
no doubt think the boy has four eyes instead of 
one ! ' 

Aeroplanes had a great attraction for W. G. His 
maternal grandfather invented a carriage drawn by 
huge kites, on which he travelled from Bristol to 


London on several occasions at a high rate of speed. 
The chief difficulty was in rounding the corners. 
W. G. delighted to tell how every journey resulted in 
claims for damages by frontagers owning corner pro- 
perties. His mother frequently accompanied her 
father on his expeditions and was an expert in hand- 
ling the machine no small achievement. 

W. G. attributed his marvellous eyesight in a great 
measure to being a non-smoker. He said that he 
tried to smoke on one occasion ; it did not agree 
with him, and he never tried again. 

He was singularly modest. I said to him one day, 
' You are one of the best-known Englishmen in the 
world.' He replied, ' You are wrong. I'm only 
known to people interested in cricket.' I said, 
jokingly, ' Not at all ! When you die you will get a 
page in the Times ! ' He laughed and said, ' Only 
two columns ! ' Had it not been for the war, I 
should have been nearer the mark than he was." 

G. W. Beldam writes : 

" During the last fifteen years of his life W. G, 
was one of the keenest golfers, and though the happy 
days in his life were many, I think I may say, none 
were happier than his golfing days. On the links he 
seemed to brim over with joy ; the heath, the 
breeze, the sunshine, the comradeship, he enjoyed 
them all to the full, and his happy childlike nature 
was so much more evident on account of his huge 

Though he did not require much persuasion, he 
was at first doubtful about taking up the game of 
golf. Like so many other cricketers, he thought it 
might not go well with cricket and interfere some- 
what with one's form. I argued with him and told 
him I thought so myself at one time, and I knew it 
was a prevalent idea, till one day I read something 
which Leslie Balfour-Melville wrote (himself no mean 
cricketer and once golf amateur champion) in which 
he stated, that golf would, if anything, help one's 

DR. W. G. GRACE 333 

cricket but cricket might spoil one's golf. That 
decided him as it did me, and the finishing touch was 
given by my bringing down to the cricket ground at 
the Crystal Palace a few clubs for W. G. to try his 
powers on the little ball which lies so still and looks 
so easy to get away. It was the usual story ; W. G. 
was bitten badly ! and some golf matches were 
arranged. I gave him one or two principles which 
he was not to violate, but W. G. never had much 
sympathy with theory. When Great Golfers was 
published, I sent him an author's copy, and he wrote 
me that it was no good to him, though he felt happy 
in possessing a copy. I replied that it was not 
meant to appeal so much to beginners, for which he 
pretended he would never forgive me, though I've 
often heard him tell the story with glee. 

One of the first games was with J. H. Taylor at 
Mid-Surrey. Taylor himself, a keen follower of 
cricket, was extremely pleased to meet W. G. and I 
told the Doctor this. ' Let's have a little joke with 
him/ he said. ' You have got some old clubs made 
years ago with long faces and twisted shafts, let us 
take these down and give them to Taylor and ask 
him what he thinks of my clubs.' So the day came 
and they were mutually delighted to meet one 
another. The clubs were kept in the background 
till we were ready to start. ' Where are your clubs, 
Doctor ? ' said Taylor. ' Oh, here they are, I want a 
bag for them; just undo them for me, will you ? ' 
Never shall I forget the look that came into Taylor's 
face as he came to the fearful and wonderful weapons. 
4 We must fit you out, Doctor,' said he ; ' you can't 
play with these ! ' Then he saw the Doctor's face 
just enjoying the joke, and I don't think Taylor was 
far behind. 

But the Doctor had one more surprise ready. 
When he came to the first green, he surveyed his 
" put ' of about twenty yards and took from the 
bottom of his bag a cricket bat with half the blade 


cut off, and then Taylor's face was a study; the 
Doctor proceeded to lay the ball dead, but Taylor in 
all seriousness told him he mustn't use such a club, 
even though he could hole the puts from all parts of 
the green. The Doctor, therefore, at the next green 
brought out his aluminium putter with which he 
was to perform nameless feats during his golfing 
career. No man had better judgment of a long run- 
up put of about forty yards, part on rough and part 
on the green, and often he would lay the ball ' dead,' 
and it was his ability to do this which made him far 
more useful as a partner in a foursome than many 
men of lower handicap. His drive, too, was excep- 
tionally straight and of quite good length, but his 
iron play was not so good as the other parts of his 
game. He had the happy knack of making his 
partner feel he believed in his ability to get him out 
of any difficulty, and one could absolutely rely on 
his nerve and on his bringing off some special shot 
at a crucial stage of the game. 

One day some of us were talking about the ' follow 
through ' at golf and W. G. overheard us, and nearly 
took my breath away by saying, he had no ' follow 
through ' either at cricket or golf, it was all bunkum ! 
I could not believe he was in earnest but found that 
he was. I then told him I would prove by action 
photos that he had a ' follow through,' and this is the 
reason of the series taken at the wickets with golf 
clubs and cricket bat. Thinking it out before I 
took the photos, I came to the conclusion that the 
'Old Man's' ' follow through ' was the best of all; 
it was unconscious and the outcome of putting 
everything in at the ball through the medium of his 
wrists. His club would swish through after impact, 
and as quickly recoil back as it were, and not come to 
rest over his left shoulder ; it was essentially a blow 
with the wrists almost entirely, the wrists timed on 
to the ball. When he saw the photos, he had to 
own that they surprised him, and that he must have 

DR. W. G. GRACE 335 

some kind of ' follow through/ though he could never 
have shown any one what it was. 

He often took his golf clubs away with him to the 
Hastings or Bournemouth cricket festivals, and in 
case of rain spoiling all chance of cricket, a foursome 
was sure to be made, up. On one occasion four of us 
(W. G. included) returned from a round, to find, 
contrary to all anticipation, play had been announced 
possible before lunch. Not being cognisant of this, we 
were half an hour late and an early lunch resulted 
with expressions of opinion decidedly against the 
culprits and quite reasonably so, but all the offenders 
condoned by making the only runs on the side in that 
innings. Who after this, will say that golf does not 
help one's cricket ! 

On another occasion, right at the beginning of 
W. G.'s golfing career he was driven into twice by 
some one behind him. The second time W. G. said, 
' Surely that's against the rules,' and being assured 
that it ought not to have occurred, he stepped on to 
the ball as if by accident, and then said, ' Now he'll 
think he hasn't a good lie/ and when the owner 
reached the ball, his language was something to 
remember. He said he would report W. G. to the 
Committee and was as good as his word, but W. G. 
reported him for using bad language and in the end 
the Committee considered he owed W. G. an apology ! 
W. G. used to tell the story and look upon it as a huge 

In this same game Billie Murdoch, also a beginner, 
was left struggling in a huge bunker after about a 
dozen attempts to get out, but no sooner had the 
others disappeared from sight, than Murdoch picked 
up the ball and threw it after them and a handful of 
sand with it. But some one looking on gave the 
show away, and discounted Murdoch's recital of the 
wonderful stroke he made too late for them to see. 

Some few years ago, a series of matches were 
played between Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein 


and P. J. de Paravicini and the Doctor and myself. 
We had to give a few strokes on handicap. The 
Prince would travel all night from the Continent 
and arrive at the golf course in time for a round 
before lunch, and considering all the circumstances 
it was surprising how little it seemed to affect his 
game. One of these series, known as the Boat-four- 
some, was played at Mid-Surrey on the day when the 
Prince had to return to the Continent, and I well 
remember the day, for after the match was over, we 
all motored up to the skating rink at Prince's, and 
saw the Doctor perform at curling, and after dining 
with the Prince we saw him off at Victoria. In a 
well-known London paper next day, there appeared 
three-quarters of a column on its most prominent 
page, giving full details of how the great W. G. 
had been playing golf with little Prince Albert, had 
taken him afterwards to Prince's, where the little 
chap ran beside the burly form of W. G. clapping his 
hands in delight, and had afterwards been taken 
to Buckingham Palace by the Old Man, who, after 
dining there, caught the last train back to the Crystal 
Palace. The ubiquitous reporter had heard about 
him playing with Prince Albert, had immediately 
jumped to conclusions, and the filling in of all the 
details was then an easy matter. 

When W. G. was about sixty the following was a 
typical day's sport which would have been too much 
for many a younger man. He would leave his 
house at Sydenham at eight in the morning, and play 
two rounds on some London links, travel to London 
and have a slight meal, start curling at Prince's at 
about seven p.m., catch the last train to the Crystal 
Palace, arriving home about midnight. He did not 
do this every day, but I believe once a week at least. 

He had some weird names for his clubs. He was 
especially fond of referring to his niblick as the 
' cleaver ' : it was one specially designed by James 
Braid for the tough heather encountered at Walton 

DR. W. G. GRACE 337 

Heath, where most of W. G.'s golf was played, and 
where many of his golfing joy-days were spent. Sir 
George Riddell who started the Club, paid W. G. the 
honour of electing him an honorary member, a 
compliment which was much appreciated by him. 

There is a story told about the ' cleaver.' W. G. 
was stranded at a place where there were two lines 
to the Crystal Palace and asked at the booking office 
if his ticket was available by that line. On hearing 
the answer to be unfavourable, he put the cleaver 
through the ticket office opening and said : ' What ! 
not available ! ' 'Oh yes,' said the booking clerk ; 
' it's aU right.' 

One thought W. G. had many years yet to enjoy 
the game which he came to love almost as much as 
cricket, though to him cricket was life, no game to be 
compared with it, but the remembrance of those 
golfing days will be a joy for ever ; the huge frame, 
the big heart, the merry laughter, the comradeship, 
the sunshine, the breeze, the firm turf joyous days 
indeed and a high privilege to have known such a 

P. J. de Paravicini writes : 

" I played a lot of golf with him. Strangely 
enough he was quite a short driver, with a very bad 
style. He was a capital putter and pretty good at 
the short game. On one occasion Prince Albert 
and I were playing a four-ball match against George 
Beldam and W. G. By some mysterious fluke the 
two both drove off at the same moment and their 
balls actually collided in the air. W. G.'s ball was 
knocked considerably nearer the hole than it would 
otherwise have been, just the sort of thing that 
would happen to him. 

Once we were playing at Richmond, Prince Albert 
having come straight from Germany to the match. 
At the third hole we saw some very weary-looking 
sheep under a tree. Said W. G. : ' Why those sheep 
look as if they had just come off the boat too/ 


The Bishop of London never having met W. G., 
I arranged they should have a game with me at 
Sunningdale. As we were changing afterwards, 
thinking he might want to be taken to the local 
station, the Bishop said : ' Doctor, can I give you a 
lift ? ' ' Certainly/ was the reply : ' anywhere near 
Victoria will do me all right/ When I saw them off, 
I insisted that the Bishop should sit on the same side 
of the car as the chauffeur, otherwise I felt the 
balance would be too utterly unequal. 

Prince Albert, W. G. and I had been playing two 
rounds at Walton Heath and agreed to dine in town 
together. But W. G. said he must go ahead as he 
had to play a game at bowls. We knew where it 
was, so we thought we would look in. There he was, 
full of vitality, ' bossing ' just a bit and working as 
hard as if he had not finished two tough matches on 
a trying as well as long course. That was it : the 
keenness of him at whatever he put his hand to. 
Genial keenness those are my associations with the 
revered name of Grace genial keenness, combined 
with unrivalled skill at the finest of all games." 

R. E. Howard, in The Sportsman, wrote on " W. G. 
at his happiest " as follows : 

" Golf was indeed proud to claim Dr. W. G. Grace 
as one of its devotees, and only those who have 
enjoyed the splendid contagion of his boyish enthu- 
siasm and simple-hearted good humour during a 
round of the links are in a position to realize that a 
real personality has gone out of the game. Abler 
pens will describe what W. G. was to cricket, but I 
do know that it was always an inspiration when one 
visited a golf course to learn that he was playing on 
it. He had all due respect for the rules of the links, 
but his sheer bonhomie made him love a match which 
was not taken too seriously, and in which temporary 
laws could be introduced for the benefit of both sides, 
so that the ball should not have to be played from 
unduly awkward positions. How he enjoyed those 

DR. W. G. GRACE 339 

games ! That he practised golf assiduously in quiet 
hours may be gathered from the fact that, although 
he started it late in life, he soon reduced his handicap 
to 9. But he liked best to play it in that spirit of 
easy good nature which was his outstanding char- 
acteristic. His laughter could be heard almost any- 
where on the course ; it was the most spontaneous, 
infectious laugh ever known in golf. Solemn-minded 
people, whose nature it was to take the game in deadly 
earnest, enjoyed W. G.'s laugh quite as much as 
more flippant souls ; it had such a genuine ring that 
the justification for it could not be doubted. I do 
not think that anybody ever learnt how to extract 
so much pleasure from a round as W. G." 


Sam Ferris writes : 

" I came in contact with Dr. W. G. Grace with the 
Clifton Beagles. Occasionally, through my invita- 
tion, they came to Wiltshire. Then he always 
accompanied them, sometimes with a son or Charles 
Townsend. On these occasions he was as keen on 
hunting as he was in the cricket-field and would find 
more hares than any other ten men who were out. 
One day the hounds and forty to fifty of the field 
went into a large field of about thirty acres and were 
half way across it before he and I entered it. Directly 
we did, a few yards from the gate, he saw a bunch of 
nettles and said : ' They've gone and not drawn this ; 
let's beat it.' We did and up jumped a hare. 

W. G. Grace did not run, but kept on walking for 
six or seven hours without stopping, whilst others 
sat on a gate or lay down until we had found. This 
was the reason he found the hares because he 
worked. One evening, when he reached the station, 
there were a few members of the local football team. 
Directly they saw W. G., they gave a loud cheer. I 
said to the captain : ' What is all this about ? ' 'A 
compliment to the best sportsman in England/ was 


his spontaneous reply. In response to their wish, 
W. G. shook hands with them all. 

One day the Clifton Beagles met at eleven ; we 
had a very hard day and left off about five. Knowing 
it was over three miles to the station I took Grace 
to a very hospitable farmer, Burbidge, brother of 
the renowned head of Harrods. When we started, 
after an hour, I mounted him, for I had been riding 
all day and he had been walking. He was then 
seventeen stone one and subsequently often told me 
that mine was the last horse he ever rode. He was 
not a horseman. After he left Bristol, he kept up his 
love for hunting and never missed a day with the 
Worcester Park Beagles, if he could go." 


Rev. A. Goram Whitehead, D.D., of Killearn, 
writes : 

" It was in the early spring of 1906, at Prince's 
Skating Club, Knightsbridge, that I was enabled to 
add Dr. W. G. Grace to the list of distinguished 
men I had had the honour of meeting. We were 
introduced by that veteran Knight of the broom Sir 
John Heron Maxwell. What passed were mere 
words of courtesy, but the personality of the man 
was photographed on my memory. At that time his 
great cricketing career was over and he had become 
a keen player of ' Scotland's ain game of curling.' 
Needless to say he played it with the same zest as he 
played the game in the annals of which he had won 
imperishable renown. His figure, erect, broad and 
towering, had something kingly, and for all that he 
was built on such massive lines, his well-knit trunk 
and limbs possessed the spring of a step-dancer. A 
man unspoiled by the fame that his feats had 
achieved, the sunny light and interest of unquench- 
able boyhood lingered on his brow and in his keen 
kindly eye." 

DR. W. G. GRACE 341 

A cutting from the Daily Telegraph of January 24, 
1905, reads : 

" A number of curling enthusiasts started a pitch 
on the frozen pond at the Crystal Palace on Satur- 
day, and the stones were merrily humming along 
the ice when Dr. W. G. Grace appeared and joined 
the ranks of the curlers. The ice, however, could not 
sustain his commanding figure, and after a very short 
stay on the ice the Doctor found a weak spot and went 
through. The wetting was not very serious, but it 
necessitated his retirement from the pleasures of 
curling for the day." 


A. H. Hamilton, S.C.C., writes : 

" Dr. W. G. Grace's interest in the game of 
bowls may be taken as commencing with his official 
connection with the Crystal Palace. In the month 
of March, 1901, he applied on behalf of London County 
Bowling Club for application with the Scottish Bowl- 
ing Association which occupies the same position 
in the game as the M.C.C. does in cricket. After the 
London County B.C. was admitted to membership 
of the S.B.A., Dr. Grace invited me as Secretary of 
that Association to bring a team of two rinks (four 
players in each rink) to London and engage a similar 
number of rinks of his club at the Crystal Palace 
green. That game took place there and was greatly 
enjoyed by all the players who were most hospitably 
entertained by Dr. Grace. The Doctor skipped one 
of the rinks and played a capital game. So much 
pleased were the Scotsmen with their reception that 
they presented Dr. Grace with a pair of silver- 
mounted bowls, a gift which he greatly prized. 

The following summer 1902 Dr. Grace sent 
another invitation to me to take a team to London, 
which I did, and Dr. Grace and his players returned 
the visit in August of that year. At that time 
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayr were visited. At each 


of those places his presence caused great interest 
several hundred bowlers and cricketers viewing the 

Dr. Grace soon realized the good international con- 
tests would do, and during his visit to Scotland he 
urged their claims. A ready response was given by 
the Scottish players who already possessed a national 
association consisting of between 300 and 400 clubs. 
England, Ireland and Wales had not at that time a 
national body, but at the request of Dr. Grace 
I approached J. C. Hunter (Belfast) and W. A. 
Morgan (Cardiff), two well-known bowlers in Ireland 
and Wales respectively, who were cordially in agree- 
ment with the proposal to establish international 
contests. Conditions and rules were adjusted, and 
the result was that the first international matches 
took place in London (out of respect to Dr. Grace) at 
the Crystal Palace and South London bowling greens 
in July, 1903. After a most exciting finish England 
won the contest, and this result gave the game in 
England a great impetus and Dr. Grace great 
pleasure. The following year the contests were 
played in Scotland, then in Wales and after in Ire- 
land, and until 1915 when the international contests 
were abandoned on account of the war this routine 
was followed. 

During the first two years of the international 
contests Dr. Grace won five out of the six games his 
rink played, the other game being drawn, so that 
during that time he was undefeated. For six years 
he captained the English team, his last game taking 
place in Edinburgh in 1908. On that occasion he 
dined with the members of the Carlton Cricket Club 
in their pavilion and received a very hearty welcome. 
In his speech he advocated international cricket 
between Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This was 
Dr. Grace's last appearance in Edinburgh. 

In 1906 Dr. Grace through his friend Sir George 
Riddell procured from the proprietors of the News 

DR. W. G. GRACE 343 

cf the World newspaper a magnificent challenge 
trophy for international competitions, the winning 
country holding it for a year. This trophy was 
presented to the International Bowling Board in 
Ireland that year. England won it, and it was a 
very popular win. 

Dr. Grace's association with the game of bowls 
was most beneficial to the game, especially in Eng- 
land, Ireland and Wales, and it was largely through 
the international games that the bowling associations 
of these countries were formed. Dr. Grace's striking 
personality was a great asset. In deliberations he 
was never aggressive and a more reasonable and 
congenial colleague was not on the Board. The 
Doctor's keen eye was a great help to him in picking 
up the points of the game. In the games he was a 
great enthusiast. He was a good opponent, and 
while his players were sometimes reminded in the 
Doctor's own way that better play was expected of 
them, he had many encouraging remarks for them. 
No man enjoyed a victory better, although he accepted 
it with moderation. In defeat he was a good sports- 
man. He was extremely popular at all the Inter- 
national games in which he took part and was as fond 
of a practical joke or a bit oi fun as any one." 

E. A. C. Thomson writes : 

" Grace frequently took the London County 
bowling team to various places and always managed 
thoroughly to enjoy himself on these excursions. 
On one occasion his side met the Heathfield Bowling 
Club on their excellent rink at Wandsworth Com- 
mon and the play proved exciting and close. The 
Doctor, who was skip of his team, was loudly urging 
his colleagues to play to a certain position. After 
one shot had gone wide, growing highly excited and 
anxious to win the match, he shouted to one of his 
men, a Highlander : ' Play to my foot, man, play 
to my foot, and it will get there all right/ Then 
came the retort swift and altogether unexpected from 


the Scottish International : ' Play to your fut, mon, 
play to your fut, why your fut is all over the green.' 
The joke was greatly appreciated, but Grace remained 
quiet for several minutes : the Scottish wit had gone 


Harry Coxon writes : 

" W. G. Grace hardly ever visited Nottingham 
to play cricket with Gloucestershire against Notts 
unless he indulged in some early morning fishing in 
the Trent. He was a personal friend of mine and it 
was a great pleasure to me to pilot him to some of 
the best swims on the Holme Pierrepont waters. 
One soft, balmy summer morning we had a rare 
set-to with the worm amongst the barbel and big 
bream inhabiting the deep run at the head of Col- 
wick Weir, which we commanded from a punt. 
The Doctor was delighted he had not previously 
tested the fighting qualities of barbel and later in 
the day he proceeded to Trent Bridge and scored 
over a ' century ' against the home county's crack 

P. J. de Paravicini writes : 

" The last match in which I ever met W. G. was 
as an opponent. He brought an L.C.C.C. side to 
Chesham and I was one of Lowndes' side. We were 
all put up in the house. As there was some fishing 
going, of course W. G. wanted to be in it. He left 
his line out all night and some one put a red herring 
on it. I can still hear his cheery tones, as with 
perfect good-will, next morning, he inquired : 
' Which of you boys has been having me over this 
game ? ' 


C. K. Francis writes : 

"Another annual sporting event "in the life of 
W. G. Grace should not be omitted, and this in his 

DR. W. G. GRACE 345 

own county. By permission of the Duke of Beau- 
fort, a day's partridge shooting was provided for the 
Graces over the Duke's Dormalin property. This 
generally came off early in September. It was the 
custom of the guns, including W. G., the Coroner 
[E. M.], Dr. Alfred Grace, G. F. and other members of 
the family, to assemble at the inn at Toll Down for 
breakfast at eight o'clock, after which the serious 
operation of the day commenced, which was walking 
after partridges. I may mention that one John 
Roe, a sort of keeper from Badminton, was in com- 
mand of the field forces, which he directed from the 
pivot, while W. G. generally took the outside because 
his legs were the longest and those of John Roe the 

The bag was never very heavy as foxes in that part 
of the country are reared in large numbers, educated 
and encouraged to keep down the head of game to* 
within reasonable proportions. Still the Grace party 
generally managed to kill about as many partridges 
as they walked miles, which Roe always assured me 
was between thirty-five and forty, and it was always 
a question with him at the end of the day whether 
he or the dogs or the partridges were the most tired. 
I need not say that to W. G. the day was mere 
child's play, as after a season's cricket when he had 
run many thousands of runs and bowled many 
hundreds of overs he was in pretty hard condition 
for any such small emergency as walking after 

Now that I have diverged from cricket to sport, 
which I believe W. G. really enjoyed as much, an 
Apethorpe incident of interest comes to my mind, 
some of the details of which have been supplied to me 
by Lord Westmorland, who was an eyewitness. It 
was as far back as 1876, when W. G. was invited 
by the late Lord Westmorland to play for Ape- 
thorpe against Lord Exeter's XI at Burghley and, 
in spite of the champion's assistance, Apethorpe 


retired defeated amid a considerable amount of 
crowing from Burghley. The only person on the 
Apethorpe side who really enjoyed himself was the 
present Lord Westmorland, who made 45 (W. G.'s 
score being only 15), and was in consequence pre- 
sented with a pair of bats by Grace, which are now, I 
believe, amongst the family heirlooms. For twelve 
months revenge was brooding over Apethorpe and 
in 1877 not only was W. G. again retained for the 
match, but G. F., W. R. Gilbert (' the Colonel ' long 
prior to H. T. Hewett possessing the nickname) and 
Southerton, the rest of the team being composed of a 
couple more professionals and some Eton boy friends 
of Lord Burghersh, as he was then. Needless to say 
sparks were knocked out of Burghley and the laurels 
taken back in triumph to Apethorpe (W. G. himself 
getting no). 

This, however, was considerably damped and a 
gloom cast over Apethorpe on the following day, 
which as usual was devoted to shooting, the annual 
sequel to the Burghley match. It was on September 
6, 1877, always afterwards remembered as a sort of 
Waterloo day at Apethorpe. The cricket team were 
the guns. Everything went swimmingly until four 
p.m., when they had annexed seventy brace of part- 
ridges and twenty hares and all were keen to bring the 
total up to 100 brace in honour of W. G. At that 
time a lot of birds were in a large field of roots and a 
good drive anticipated. The guns were all placed in 
position, but unfortunately W. G. took upon himself 
to change his stand and slip up a high hedge out of 
the line, the rest of the guns not knowing of this 
extremely dangerous manoeuvre on his part. Need- 
less to say, at this point he got severely bombarded 
as many of the birds went over his head, each one 
getting from the Etonians and other guns anything 
from two to twenty-two barrels. Small wonder that 
W. G. was receiving a sort of ' curtain fire,' more 
familiar now than then, got hit and not only hit, but 

DR. W. G. GRACE 347 

hit in the eye. Of course to the Eton boys nothing 
more awful could have happened than that the great 
hero, whom they looked up to and almost wor- 
shipped, should have been thus seriously maimed. 

It could hardly be realized, but it was a fact and 
all approached with bated breath, G. F. Grace lead- 
ing the way. At that time I fancy G. F. had not 
passed his medical. The guns were all unlimbered 
and thrown into the game cart with the cartridges 
to prevent further mishap and everybody stood 
round in watchful silence watching G. F. winding 
bandages round W. G.'s head, the Eton boys wonder- 
ing if he really would die and what sort of souvenirs 
might be obtained if such was to be his sad end. The 
impromptu bandages having been adjusted to G. F.'s 
satisfaction, a kind of funeral procession was formed 
consisting of shooters, farmers, keepers, beaters, 
Etonians and the dogs, with their tails between 
their legs, bringing up the rear, W. G. and G. F. 
leading, the former blinded with bandages. 

Arriving at Apethorpe, the case was carefully 
diagnosed by G. F., the rest waiting to hear the 
result, when he rushed in to announce, to their joy, 
that he had saved his brother's eye and that his sight 
would not be impaired. A few days later their 
pleasure was redoubled by W. G. Grace himself 
wiring to say he had played the best innings of his 
life. Thus ended the Apethorpe adventure. 

I have also been reminded by Lord Londesborough 
to whose hospitality W. G. and every one else 
who has figured in Scarborough Festivals owes so 
much appreciative gratitude that on the occasion 
alluded to in an earlier chapter by C. W. Burls] 
Grace and two others bagged sixty-seven brace of 
partridges one morning before stumps were pitched, 
one of the Young's Lord Londesborough' s cele- 
brated family of keepers said that there were 
' more partridges than had ever been since Adam 
was a little boy.' " 


From The Irish Field is culled this incident : 
" On one occasion when shooting with Mr. George 
Harnett, W. G. was greatly chagrined at missing a 
covey of partridges which was close to him and he 
allowed to escape. He turned and said : ' Why, 
George, I could have caught 'em.' " 

The Closing Scenes 

THE last two public appearances of W. G. Grace 
were among the most dignified of his career. 
At the dinner in commemoration of the centenary 
of Lord's Cricket Ground, held at the Hotel Cecil on 
June 23, 1914, no one was more widely greeted or 
met with such a warm welcome as the veteran 
champion, cheerful as ever though disfigured by a 
black eye, the result of an accident. 

The President of M.C.C., Lord Hawke, in propos- 
ing the toast of Lord's and the M.C.C., alluded to " the 
grand old man whom we all heartily welcome here 
to-night." C. E. Green, in concluding his speech, 
said : "I will only now give you the toast of ' County 
Cricket/ and I am asked to associate with it the 
names of Lord Harris and Dr. W. G. Grace. The 
former, as you all know, was in his time a great 
cricketer and was mainly instrumental hi bringing 
his county (that champion county Kent) to the 
proud position which it now occupies, and he is now 
one of the great mainstays of theM.C.C. and a power 
in the cricketing world. Dr. W. G. Grace is, as you 
all know, the greatest cricketer that ever lived or 
ever will live, and it is one of my proudest recollec- 
tions that I have in years gone by been associated 
with him in many a hard-fought match on the 

When he rose to reply, W. G. was given an over- 
whelming reception. As usual he was very brief. 



He said he considered county cricket was as good as 
ever it was. He would only say about county 
cricket that the young players did not make enough 
use of their legs as they ought for punishing the 
bowling. He had not seen much first-class cricket 
of latter years because he considered that the test 
match play was rather too slow. He would like to 
give them four days for test match cricket and, " if the 
game could not be finished in that time, they had 
better begin it all over again." 

There can be no doubt that out of the large 
assemblage not one relished the occasion so much as 
he. Yet there was bound to be the shadow of sad- 
ness for comrades who had passed away, and in 
speaking of this to Coulson Kernahan, a few days 
afterwards, he remarked : "It shows how old I am 
getting that there is hardly any one now left to 
call me Gilbert." 

On one further occasion only did Grace witness a 
match at Lord's. He came during Hobbs' benefit, 
transferred from the Oval which was in the occupa- 
tion of the military authorities. Friends crowded 
round him to find that his thoughts were far from 
cricket, concentrated on the war. A few days later, 
on August 27, came this trumpet-call in print : 



To the Editor of " The Sportsman" 

SIR, There are many cricketers who are already 
doing their duty, but there are many more who do 
not seem to realize that in all probability they will 
have to serve either at home or abroad before the 
war is brought to a conclusion. The fighting on the 
Continent is very severe, and will probably be pro- 
longed. I think the time has arrived when the 
county cricket season should be closed, for it is not 

DR. W. G. GRACE 351 

fitting at a time like the present that able-bodied men 
should play day after day and pleasure-seekers look 
on. There are so many who are young and able, 
and yet are hanging back. I should like to see all 
first-class cricketers of suitable age, etc., set a good 
example, and come to the help of their country with- 
out delay in its hour of need. Yours, etc., 


Amid all the preoccupations of the great war, the 
public was deeply moved by the intelligence that 
" W. G.'s very ill," and in two or three days learnt 
with profound sorrow that he had passed away. It 
seemed almost impossible. As P. F. Warner truly 
observed after the funeral : " Life to lots of us can 
never be the same because of the loss of the dear Old 
Man. This is a chapter in our existence that has the 
mournful ' finis ' appended to it." It was generally 
believed that a Zeppelin raid in the neighbourhood 
gave the veteran a shock when he was in a danger- 
ously weak condition, and the German papers 
actually stated that he was a victim of an aerial 

It was on a bitterly cold afternoon, October 26, 
1915, that a great gathering assembled at Elmer's 
End Cemetery to pay the last tribute of respect " to 
the man of all others whose name will for generations 
to come, as it has been for nearly half a century, be 
pre-eminently linked with our great summer game 
played wherever Englishmen set foot." The church 
was filled to overflowing and, at the conclusion of the 
first portion of the service, the lengthy procession of 
mourners made its way to the grave, where, under 
the shadow of a hawthorn tree, the hero of cricket 
was laid to rest beside a son and daughter who had 
preceded him into the land of shadows. 

Behind the chief mourners, composed of the family 
and C. L. Townsend, walked Lord Hawke and Lord 
Harris representing the Marylebone Cricket Club. 


From " the county of the Graces " came J. A. Bush, 
R. F. Miles, O. G. Radcliffe and F. Townsend. 
Veterans included C. E. Green, H. W. Bainbridge, 
F. G. J. Ford, W. H. Fowler who was with Sir George 
Riddell, W. Foord-Kelcey, A. P. Lucas, C. K. Francis, 
C. I. Thornton, C. C. Clarke, P. J. de Paravicini, 
F. T. Welman, George Brann and S. A. P. Kitcat. 
In khaki stood the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar (Ranjit- 
sinhji of yore) with Sir Home Gordon, Captain P. F. 
Warner, Captain H. D. G. Leveson-Gower and Cap- 
tain H. T. Hewett. Other noted cricketers included 
J. R. Mason, G. MacGregor, C. J. Burnup, and 
Captain G. J. V. Weigall. Among the professionals 
were Alec Hearne, Huish, Martin, W. C. Smith, Hen- 
derson, with Cannon and Philip Need from Lord's. 
And not a tithe of those who came to that sad scene 
have been enumerated. 

Lord Hawke, on behalf of M.C.C., received the 
following cablegram : " Kindly convey condolence 
of the club to the Grace family Trumble, Melbourne 
C.C." ; also from Christ church, New Zealand : 
" Dominion mourns loss of Grace Moon, Cricket 
Council." A most kind message was also received 
from His Majesty the King. 

Of all the memorial accounts, couched in language 
of deserved appreciation, none was finer than that 
appearing in the columns of Punch, which had con- 
tained so many tributes to the great cricketer during 
his career. It is no secret that the author was E. V. 
Lucas, who is as devoted to cricket as to literature, 
and it cannot be omitted from this volume. Thus he 
wrote : 

" So W. G. is no more ! Cricket itself has suffered 
the cruellest wounds since August of last year, and 
now the Father of it is laid low. And his place will 
never be filled again. There could not be another 
W. G. ; there can be, if the Fates allow the game to 
recover, great cricketers ; but there can never be 
another so immeasurably the greatest never another 

DR. W. G. GRACE 353 

not only to play cricket as Grace did, but to be 
cricket as Grace was. 

Cricket and W. G. were indeed one. Popular 
superstition and the reporters had it that he was a 
physician, and it is true that, when a wicket-keeper 
smashed his thumb or a bumping ball flew into a 
batsman's face, first aid would be administered in the 
grateful shade of the ' Doctor's ' beard ; but it was 
impossible really to think seriously of his medical 
activities, or indeed of any of his activities off the 
field. Between September and May one thought of 
him as hibernating in a cave, returning to life with 
renewed vigour with the opening of the season, his 
beard a little more imposing, his proportions a little 
more gigantic ; so that each year the bat in his hand, 
as he walked to the wicket with that curious rolling 
tumbling gait, seemed a more trifling implement. 

With the mind's vision one sees him in many 
postures. At the wicket : waiting, striking and 
running ; and again bowling, in his large round 
action, coming in from the leg, with a man on the 
leg boundary a little finer than square, to catch the 
youngsters who lunged at the widish ball (his 
' bread-and-butter trick ' W. G. called it). One sees 
him thus and thus, and even retiring to the pavilion, 
either triumphantly with not, of course, a sufficient 
but an adequate score to his credit or with head 
bent pondering how it was he let that happen and 
forewarning himself against it next time. But to 
these reminiscent eyes the most familiar and charac- 
teristic attitude of all is W. G. among his men at the 
fall of a wicket, when they would cluster round to 
discuss the event and, no matter how tall they were, 
W. G.'s beard and shoulders would top the lot. 
Brave days for ever gone ! 

Of late years, since his retirement, the Old Man, 
as he was best known among his fellow amateurs, was 
an occasional figure at Lord's. More than a figure, 
a landmark, for he grew vaster steadily, more mas- 

A A 


sive, more monumental. What must it have been 
like to have that Atlas back and those shoulders in 
front of one in the theatre ! At the big matches he 
would be seen on one of the lower seats of the pavilion 
with a friend on either side, watching and comment- 
ing. But the part of oracle sat very lightly upon 
him ; he was ever a man of action rather than of 
words ; shrewd and sagacious enough, but without 
rhetoric. That his mind worked with Ulysses-like 
acuteness every other captain had reason to know ; 
his tactics were superb. But he donned and doffed 
them with his flannels. In ordinary life he was 
content to be an ordinary man. 

Although sixty-seven, he did not exactly look old ; 
he merely looked older than he had been, or than 
any such performer should be permitted to be. 
There should be a dispensation for such masters, by 
which W. G. with his bat, and John Roberts with his 
cue, and Cinquevalli with his juggling implements 
would be rendered immune from Anno Domini. 
Almost to the end he kept himself fit, either with 
local matches, where latterly he gave away more runs 
in the field than he hit up, not being able to ' get 
down ' to the ball, or with golf or beagling. But the 
great beard grew steadily more grizzled and the 
ponderous footfall more weighty. Indeed towards 
the last he might almost have been a work by Mestro- 
vics, so colossal and cosmic were his lines. 

Peace to his ashes ! We shall never look upon his 
like again. The days of Grace are ended." 

The long innings is closed. The grand record of 
W. G. has been told. His memory will never die 
so long as the game is played with which he is 
pre-eminently associated. Perhaps his most fitting 
epitaph is what the Bishop of Hereford once said at 
a banquet to him at Bristol. " Had Grace been born 
in ancient Greece, the Iliad would have been a 
different book. Had he lived in the Middle Ages,. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 355 

he would have been a crusader and would now have 
been lying with his legs crossed in some ancient 
abbey, having founded a great family. As he was- 
born when the world was older, he was the best 
known of all Englishmen and the king of that English 
game least spoilt by any form of vice." 


Statistics of W. G. Grace's Cricket 









































{ 686 







































































































DR. W. G. GRACE 357 













































































. 973 













































































i, in 


















































Totals j 



2,8 64 







Ground and 
Date of Fkst 











Oval, 1865 . 







Lord's, 1865 . 














Prince's, 1873 






























Most in 



i^l \J W 



an Inn- 


Anglo-American XI . 





England v. Australia . . 






England in Australia (non 














J W 


England XI .... 






Gentlemen v. Players . 






Gentlemen of England 






Gentlemen of South . 




1 80 








Gloucestershire and Kent 






Gloucestershire and York- 



1 10 



Grace's XI 






Kent (with W. G. and 

A. W. Ridley) . . . 


10 8 



London County 






Marylebone C.C. . 






Non-Smokers .... 






Non-University Gentlemen 





Orleans Club .... 





Over Thirty .... 






Right-Handed .... 








1 80 






*- v y 



South, United .... 





J.7 / 

South of the Thames . 






United XI 












* <j 

\jy \}J 

* Signifies not out. 







Most in 
an Inn- 


Anglo-Australian XI. 





4 4Q3 




Cambridge University 
England XI .... 












8 7 




Gentlemen of Kent 
Gentlemen of Middlesex . 
Gentlemen of North . 














Home Counties 








I Zingari 









3 3Q4 



Kent, XIII of .... 
Kent and Sussex . 










Lancashire and Yorkshire 
Left-Handed .... 
Leicestershire .... 
M.C.C. and Ground 
M.C.C., XV of, with Rylott 















1 80* 










New South Wales . 







North of the Thames . 
North, United .... 








Notts and Yorkshire . . 
Oxford University . 











Players of the North . 
Players of the South . . 
Rest of England f . . . 














* Signifies not out. t Lord Sheffield's Anglo-Australian XI. 



HIS RUNS continued 




Most in 
an Inn- 








South Africans .... 
South Australia 
Staffordshire .... 







6 7 



6 7 

2 '00 
3 5">2 

Surrey and Middlesex . . 
Surrey and Sussex 









University Gentlemen 
Under Thirty .... 











Warwickshire .... 
West Indians .... 

2 9 





4, E 5Q : > 








Totals . 

i. 4Qi 





Signifies not out. 

























































































































































i, 068 






















































































Totals | 


























Oval . . . 







Prince's . 







Crystal Palace 








Caught 760 

Bowled 439 

Caught and bowled 76 

L.B.W 54 

Run out 27 

Stumped 26 

Hit wicket 6 

Completed innings 1,388 



i to 9 

10 to 19 

20 to 29 

30 to 39 

40 to 49 

50 to 59 

60 to 69 

70 to 79 

80 to 89 

90 to 99 

Centuries . 




9 l 





Innings commenced M93 



100 to 149 78 

150 to 199 . . _., 1 .... 35 

200 to 249 6 

250 to 299 4 

300 to 344 ... .. . . . . 3 

Total 126 

These 126 scores were obtained thus : 

For England 5 

,, Gentlemen v. Players ... 15 

Gentlemen of England ... 5 

Gentlemen of South .... 7 

Gloucestershire 51 

M.C.C. (or M.C.C. and Ground) . 19 

South 10 

London County 7 

Various 7 


130 & 102* South of the Thames v. North of 

the Thames at Canterbury . 1868 
101 & 103* Gloucestershire v. Kent at Clifton 1887 
148 & 153 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at 

Clifton 1888 

The following feats are also noteworthy : 
94 & 121 Kent and Gloucestershire v. Eng- 
land at Canterbury. . . . 1874 
92 & 183* Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at 

Gloucester 1887 

126 & 82 United South v. United North at 

Hull 1876 

* Signifies not out. 

DR. W. G. GRACE 365 


118 Gentlemen of South v. Gentlemen of\ 

North at Lillie Bridge 

178 South v. North at Lord's I 1871 

102 Gentlemen of England v. Cambridge 
University at Cambridge . . . J 

112 Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's . . .\ 

117 Gentlemen v. Players at Oval . . .1 1872 

170* England v. Notts and Yorkshire at Lord's] 

134 Gentlemen of South v. Players of South\ 

at Oval I 

163 Gentlemen v. Players at Lord's . f ' * 

158 Gentlemen v. Players at Oval . . J 

121 Kent and Gloucestershire v. England at\ 

Canterbury I 

123 M.C.C. v. Kent at Canterbury . . . [ 1874 
127 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at Clifton J 

344 M.C.C. v. Kent at Canterbury . . .\ 
177 Gloucestershire v. Notts at Clifton . . I ,- 
318 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at Chelten- [ 
ham J 


179 Gloucestershire v. Sussex at Brighton .") 

167 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at Sheffield > 1874 

127 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire at Clifton. J 

In consecutive innings for Gentlemen v. Players in 
1871, 1872, 1873, W. G. Grace scored 217, 77 and 112, 
117, 163, 158, 70 : average 130-57 against the bowling 
of Alfred and J. C. Shaw, Martin, Mclntyre, 
Southerton, Emmett, Willsher, Fillery, Hayward, 
Lockwood, Oscroft, Richard Daft and Lilly white. 

* Signifies not out. 


In May, 1895, in his forty-seventh year, W. G. 
Grace made the following scores in succession for 
Gloucestershire : 
288 v. Somerset at Bristol. 

257 and 73 not out (winning the match by 9 wickets) 
v. Kent at Gravesend. 

169 v. Middlesex at Lord's. 
91 v. Sussex at Brighton. 


138 M.C.C. and Ground v. 

117 M.C.C. and Ground v. 

189 Single 

81 W. G. Grace's XI 

170 England 
192 South 

318 Gloucestershire 

221 Gloucestershire 

81 M.C.C. and Ground v. 

113 Gloucestershire 

37 Gloucestershire 

127 Gloucestershire 

109 Gloucestershire 

159 England 

61 Gloucestershire 

243 Gloucestershire 

102 Gloucestershire 


v. Surrey 

Oval . . 


v. Notts 

Lord's . . 


v. Married 

Lord's . 


v. Kent 

Maidstone . 


v. Notts & Yorks 

Lord's . 


v. North 

Oval . . 


v. Yorkshire 



v. Middlesex 

Clifton . . 


v. Sussex 

Lord's . 


v. Notts 

Clifton . . 


v. Lancashire 

Bristol . . 


v. Middlesex 



v. Kent 

Maidstone . 


v. Victoria 

Melbourne .il 


v. Surrey 

Oval . . 


v. Sussex 



v. Lancashire 

Bristol . . 


Wickets. Runs. 
8 for 40 Gentlemen of 


Players of the Oval . 


the South 







Lord's . 







Sheffield . 






Kent (12 a 





,, 48 



















Lord's . 



,. 54 

M.C.C. and 



Lord's . . 




Wickets. Runs. 



ior s^u 








M.C.C. and 

























Clifton. . 




M.C.C. and 



Lord's . 





M.C.C. and 


Oxford Uni- 







M.C.C. and 








Wickets. Runs. 


for 84 

Gentlemen of 


Players of the 

Oval . . 


the South 












Kent (12 a 




























M.C.C. and 



Lord's . 


























M.C.C. and 



Lord's . . 





London County 


M.C.C. and 

Lord's . 







Wickets. Runs. 


for 10 

M.C.C. and 



Lord's . 





M.C.C. and 



Chorleywood 1873 











M.C.C. and 



Lord's . . 















Lord's . 




M.C.C. and 



Lord's . 






I. D. Walker Gentlemen of the v. Players of the Oval f 1865 

South South 

Wootton (G.) M.C.C. and v. Staffordshire Lord's 1873 


W. R. Gilbert Gloucestershire v. Lancashire Clifton 1878 

f Aged 16. 


Score. Bowling. 

134* 10 for 81 Gentlemen v. Players Lord's . 1868 

117 12 146 M.C.C. v. Kent (12 Canterbury 1871 

a side) 

114 ii ,,126 South v. North Oval . 1872 

150 15 ,, 79 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire Sheffield . 1872 

179 12 ,,158 Gloucestershire v. Sussex Brighton. 1874 

2 ^l 10 ,,119 Gentlemen v. Players Prince's . 1874 

167 ii ,, 101 Gloucestershire v. Yorkshire Sheffield . 1874 

94) 10 i6of Gloucestershire v. England Canterbury 1874 
121 J and Kent 

123 ii 129! M.C.C. v. Kent (12 Canterbury 1874 

a side) 

127 10 ,,121-f Gloucestershire V.Yorkshire Clifton . 1874 

12 ,,125 Gentlemen v. Players Lord's . 1875 

261 ii 139 South v. North Prince's . 1877 

221* ii ,,120 Gloucestershire v. Middlesex Clifton . 1885 

104 12 109 J M.C.C. and v. Oxford Oxford . 1886 

Ground University 

* Signifies not out. | Consecutive matches. 

J Including all ten wickets in second innings. 

CRICKET (126) 

152 v. XV of M.C.C. (with Lord's 1873 


DR. W. G. GRACE 369 


224* v. Surrey Oval 


170* v. Notts and Yorkshire Lord's 


152 v. Australia Oval 


170 v. Australia Oval 


159* v. Victoria Melbourne 



134* v. Players Lord's 


215 v. Players Oval 


109 v. Players Lord's 


217 v. Players Brighton 


112 v. Players Lord's 


117 v. Players Oval 


163 v. Players Lord's 


158 v. Players Oval 


no v. Players Prince's 


152 v. Players Lord's 


169 v. Players Lord's 


100 v. Players Oval 


174 v. Players Scarborough 


131 v. Players Hastings 


118 v. Players Lord's 



162 v. Cambridge University Cambridge 


107 v. Australians Oval 


148 v. Australians Oval 


165 v. Australians Lord's 


10 1* v. I Zingari Lord's 



173* v. Players of South Oval 


180 v. Players of South Oval 


118 v. Gentlemen of North West Bromp- 



145 v. Players of North Prince's 


134 v. Players of South Oval 


150 v. Players of South Oval 


104 v. Players of North Prince's 


* Signifies not out. 

B B 


143 v. 

IJ2 V. 

n6 v. 

150 v. 

160* v. 

179 v. 

167 v. 

127 v. 

in v. 

119 v. 

104 v. 

177 v. 

318* v. 

116 v. 

123 v. 

IO2 V. 

113 v. 

106 v. 
182 v. 

112 V. 

116* v. 
132 v. 
104 v. 

221* V. 

no v. 

113 v. 
183* v. 
113* v. 






127* V 
109* v 

288 V 



M.C.C. and Ground 







* Signifies not out. 







































































DR. W. G. GRACE 371 

257 v. Kent Gravesend 1895 

169 v. Middlesex Lord's 1895 

119 v. Nottinghamshire Cheltenham 1895 

243* v. Sussex Brighton 1896 

102* v. Lancashire Bristol 1896 

186 v. Somerset Taunton 1896 

301 v. Sussex Bristol 1896 

113 v. Philadelphians Bristol 1897 

126 v. Nottinghamshire Nottingham 1897 

116 v. Sussex Bristol 1897 

131 v. Nottinghamshire Cheltenham 1897 

126 v. Essex Leyton 1898 

168 v. Nottinghamshire Nottingham 1898 

109 v. Somerset Taunton 1898 

121 v. England Canterbury 1874 

no v. England Lord's 1877 


no* v. Worcestershire Crystal Palace 1900 

no v. M.C.C. and Ground Crystal Palace 1900 

132 v. M.C.C. and Ground Crystal Palace 1901 

131 v. M.C.C. and Ground Crystal Palace 1902 

129 v. Warwickshire Crystal Palace 1902 

150 v. Gloucestershire Crystal Palace 1903 

166 v. M.C.C. and Ground Crystal Palace 1904 

* Signifies not out. 



117 v. Oxford University Oxford 


138* v. Surrey Oval 


121 v. Nottinghamshire Lord's 


127 v. Kent Canterbury 


117* v. Nottinghamshire Lord's 


181 v. Surrey Lord's 


146 v. Surrey Oval 


117 v. Kent Canterbury 


101 v. Yorkshire Lord's 


123 v. Kent Canterbury 


344 v. Kent Canterbury 


101 v. Australians Lord's 


104 v. Oxford University Oxford 


1 1 6* v. Cambridge University Lord's 


128 v. Kent Lord's 


139 v. Cambridge University Cambridge 


196 v. Cambridge University Lord's 


103 v. Sussex Lord's 


125 v. Kent Lord's 



189* v. Married Lord's 


FOR SOUTH (10). 

122 v. North Sheffield 


178 v. North Lord's 


268 v. North Oval 


114 v. North Oval 


192* v. North Oval 


114* v. North Nottingham 


261 v. North Prince's 


154 v. North Scarborough 


104 v. North Hastings 


126 v. North Lord's 



126 v. North, United Hull 



io2*l u ' North of Thames Canterbury 


* Signifies not out. 




Season Won 

Lost Drawn 


Season Won 

Lost Drawn Total 

I86 5 





































































































































































































































20 TIMES. 
Shaw (A.) 

14 TIMES. 
Richardson (T.) 

13 TIMES. 
Barlow (R. G.) 

ii TIMES. 
Morley (F.) 

10 TIMES. 
Briggs (J.) 
Emmett (T.) 
Hill (A.) 

Peate (E.) 
Shaw (J. C.) 

Flowers (W.) 
Southerton (J.) 


Lohmann (G. A.) 
F. R. Spofforth 
C. T. B. Turner 

Bates (W.) 
Hearne (J. T.) 
Martin (F.) 
G. E. Palmer 
Peel (R.) 
A. G. Steel 
Wootton (G.) 

Attewell (W.) 
Barnes (W.) 
G. Giffen 

Lillywhite (J. jun.) 
Mold (A.) 
Wainwright (E.) 

Hearne (A.) 
Mycroft (W.) 
Tate (F. W.) 
H. Trumble 
Watson (A.) 

DR. W. G. GRACE 375 



1863 XXII of Lansdown v. England XI at Bath, 
c. Clarke (A.) b. Tinley, c. Anderson b. 

1863 Clifton v. Lansdown at Bath, b. E. M. Grace, 
b. E. M. Grace. 

1868 U.S.E.E. v. XXII of Cadoxton (with Howitt) 
at Neath, c. Struve b. Howitt, c. and 
b. Howitt. 

1870 Bedminster v. G.W.R. at Bedminster, c. and 
b. Laverick, c. Dormand b. Laverick. 

He never was twice dismissed for o in a first-class 


Completed Innings Runs Average 

1870 67 3,255 48-58 

1871 48 3,234 67-37 
18720 63 3,030 48-09 

18746 74 3,505 47-36 

1876 72 3,908 54-27 

a Including the trip to America ; and b the tour through Australia. 

W. G. Grace took over 300 wickets in 1874, 1875, 

1877 and 1878. 

W. G. Grace scored 91 centuries in minor matches, 
five being over 200 and one reaching 400. 

It is estimated that during his career W. G. Grace 
made about 80,000 runs and took about 7,000 


As a contributor to cricket literature, Dr. W. G. Grace 
committed the result of his experience to paper in plain 
language. His first contribution to appear in book form 
was not published until the champion had been before the 
public for twenty-seven years. It bears the crisp title 
Cricket, and ran through several editions, the publisher being 
his own neighbour, the late Mr. J. W. Arrowsmith, of Bristol. 
The first edition was priced at six shillings, but the instruc- 
tive portion was reprinted separately at one shilling with 
the title Batting, Bowling and Fielding. 

When the proprietors of the English Continental Library 
decided to add to their series a book on cricket, Dr. W. G. 
Grace was invited to supply the letterpress and the volume, 
bearing his signature, appeared at Leipzig in 1892. 

Of more interest to the non-exponent was " W. G." 
Cricket Reminiscences and Personal Recollections (James 
Bowden, 1899) . Another book of entertaining reminiscences 
by the champion was " W. G.'s " Little Book (Newnes, 1909), 
with chapters on the " New Bowling," "" Cricket Journalism," 
and " Cricket and Go." On the attainment of W. G. 
Grace's hundredth century in first-class cricket, L. Upcott 
Gill issued a shilling book entitled The History of 100 
Centuries. Dr. W. G. Grace's name appears on the title 
page "as that of the author, but the book was really com- 
piled by the late Mr. W. Yardley, who modestly posed as 
the editor. 

To the innumerable publications that have appeared in 
connection with the game, Dr. W. G. Grace was a frequent 
contributor. The Badminton Library of Cricket contains 
two excellent articles to which his name is attached, " How 
to Score " and " Outfit." " Cricket as a Sport " is a subject 
in Dewar's Cricket Annual for 1892, whilst his " Hints on 
Batting," which appeared in the first edition of James Lilly- 



-white's Cricket Annual in 1872, found such favour that it 
was reprinted for twelve successive years. In the Boys' 
Own Bookshelf series Dr. W. G. Grace was responsible for 
three chapters, " Cricket and How to Excel in It," " The 
Cricket Bat ; How to Make it, Choose it, and Keep it," and 
" Cricket Clubs, their Formation and Management." An 
article, " Big Hitting and Fast Scoring : a Remedy for 
Unfinished Matches," is to be found in the Cricket Hand- 
book (Greening). 

To tabulate the numerous articles that have appeared 
above his signature in various magazines would be impos- 
sible at this distance of time, but many a grown-up school- 
boy still cherishes his advice which frequently appeared 
in the columns of The Boys' Own Paper and the early 
volumes of Cricket when that admirable weekly publication 
was under the editorship of the late C. W. Alcock. 

Articles in praise of W. G. Grace have appeared in count- 
less cricket books, but those solely devoted to his powers 
comprise the following : W. G. Grace, a Biography, by W. 
Methven Brownlee, with a treatise on cricket by W. G. 
Grace (Iliffe & Son, London, 1887) ; " W. G.," or the 
Champion's Career, by Arthur J. Waring (Alexander 
& Shepheard, London, 1895) ; " W. G." Up to Date : The 
Doings of W. G. Grace from 1887 to 1895, published at 
Ootacamund ; Dr. W. G. Grace, the King of Cricket, by 
Frederick G. Warne (H. A. Burleigh, Bristol, 1899) ; Dr. 
W. G. Grace, by Acton Wye (H. J. Drane, London) ; The 
Hero of Cricket, an Appreciation of W. G. Grace (Iliffe, 
London) ; Dr. W. G. Grace (Wright, London), and last, but 
not least, Scores and Modes of Dismissal of " W. G." in First- 
Class Cricket, by Rev. H. A. Tate (Cricket Press, London). 
This was considerably enlarged in 1896 after Dr. W. G. 
Grace completed his hundred centuries, and then appeared 
under the title of Life, Scores and Modes of Dismissal of 
" W. G." in First-Class Cricket from 1865 to 1896, embracing 
some seventy pages. That exceptional statistician, Mr. 
F. S. Ashley-Cooper, appears to differ in some respects from 
this summary in his contribution to Wisden's Cricketers' 
Almanack for 1916, alluded to in an earlier chapter of the 
present volume. After the death of the Grand Old Man 
of the game, Mr. Ashley-Cooper was the author of 
W. G. Grace, Cricketer : A Record of His Performances in 


First-Class Matches (Wisden, 1916). This admirable com- 
pilation has of course been freely drawn upon, by 
permission, for the present volume. 

In verse, Dr. W. G. Grace has of ten been the subject, but 
as far as one can trace, only a single song has been published 
in his honour, namely Cricket : A Song of the Centuries, by 
J. Harcourt Smith (Howard, London). Scores of books on 
cricket have been dedicated to Dr. W. G. Grace, but a list 
here would serve no useful purpose. 


(W. G. GRACE is not included.) 

Abel, R., 60, 193, 201, 202, 216, 

220, 241, 243, 260, 266, 272. 
Absolom, A., 62, 117. 

Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, 
H.H. Prince, 321, 335, 336, 

337. 338. 

Alcock, C. W., 147, 187. 
Allan, F. E., 103. 
Alverstone, Lord, writes 186 

188, 273. 

Anderson, George, 25. 
Angerstein, 68. 
Antrobus, R., 86. 
Appleby, A., 62, 75, 83, 85, 86, 

"9, 145- 

Armitage, T., 118. 
Arnall-Thompson, H. T., 228. 
Arnold, E. G., 294. 
Ashley-Cooper, F. S., writes 

283-292, 324, 28, 29, 124, 126. 
Astley, Sir John, 205. 
Attewell, W., 151, 195, 215, 216, 

221, 224, 237, 256. 

Badminton volume on Cricket, 286. 

Bainbridge, H. W., 352. 

Baker, G., 211, 266. 

Bale, E., 306. 

Balfour, Leslie Melville, 93, 332. 

Bannerman, A. C., 146, 159, 193, 

194, 219, 220, 268, 269. 
Bannerman, C., 106, 220. 
Barlow, R. G., writes 168-171, 

134, 136, 140, 145, 150, 167, 

168, 173, 182, 190, 195. 
Barnes, W., 136, 137, 145, 147, 

173, 185, 190, 195, 200, 201, 

215, 225. 

Barratt, E., 125, 167. 
Barton, Bombardier, 203. 
Bates, W., 136, 139, 142, 147, 

150, 151, 167, 175, 190, 199. 
Bathurst, L. C. V., 256. 
Bean, G., 202, 216, 225, 233. 
Beauclerck, Lord Frederick, 13. 
Beaufort, Duke of, 136. 
Beaumont, J., 176, 201. 
Beldam, G. W., writes 311-317, 

332-337. 19, 233, 296, 337. 
Bell, Canon, writes 52, 53. 
Bell's Life, 89, 186. 
Bennett, G., 28, 96. 
Bessborough, Lord, 115. 
Best, Sir Robert, 216. 
Birmingham Post, 265. 
Bismark, Prince, 57. 
Blackham, J. McCarthy, 159, 

193, 204, 220, 221, 236. 
Board, J. H., 194, 245, 262, 266, 

286, 287. 
Bonnor, G. J., 6, 29, 132, 158, 


Booth, C., 129. 
Boult, F. H., 101. 
Boyle, H. F., 102, 103, 105, 129, 

146, 158, 159, 172, 217. 
Bradley, A. G., writes 54. 
Braid, James, 157, 331, 336. 
Brain, J. H., 173, 176, 191, 243. 
Brain, W. H., 321. 
Brann, George, 352. 
Braund, L., 281, 296, 305, 307. 
Briggs, J., 64, 170, 173, 176, 190, 

2O3, 2l6, 221, 256, 262, 294. 

Brockwell, W., 153, 241, 272. 
Bromley Davenport, H. R., 256. 



Brown, Ernest, 326. 

Brown, J. T., 241, 263, 281, 294. 

Bruce, W., 183. 

Buchanan, David, 62, 75, 83. 

Bull, F. G., 266, 276. 

Buller, C., 14, 33, 34, 63, 114. 

Burbidge, 340. 

Burgoyne, T., 49. 

Burls, C. W., writes 163-165, 


Burnham, Lord, writes 252-254. 
Burnup, C. J., 352. 
Bush, J. A., 101, 119, 180, 197, 

198, 204, 352. 
Bush, R. E., 112. 
Butler, Rev. A. G., 322. 

Cadogan, Lord, 318. 

Caesar, Julius, 226. 

Callaway, 219, 220. 

Candy, 164. 

Cannon, G., 352. 

Carpenter, Robert, 20, 76, 83, 94, 

Carter, Canon E. S., writes 36- 

38, 38, 39. 
Cavell, Strutt, 295. 
Charlton, P. C., 210. 
Charlwood, H., 47. 
Chatterton, W., 241. 
Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, 

H.R.H. Prince, writes 319- 

320, 318. 
Christian Victor, H.H. Prince, 

204, 319, 322. 

Christopherson, Stanley, 172. 
Cinquevalli, 354. 
Clarke, C. C., writes 211-214, 

150, 211, 321, 352j 
Clarke, 13. 

Clayton, R., 55, 75, 84, 109. 
Cobham, Lord, writes 34-35, 33. 
Collins, A. E. J., 30. 
Cooper, B. B., 47, 51, 52, 102, 


Cooper, W. H., 171. 
Cosstick, S., 103, 105. 
Cotter, A., 219, 308. 
Cotterill, J. M., 125. 
Cottrell, George, 115. 
Coventry, Lord, 318. 
Coxon, H., writes 344. 

Craig, A., 184. 

Cranston, J., 168, 198, 210, 202, 


Crawford, J. N., 298. 
Cricket, 179. 
Croome, A. C. M., writes 226 

235. 320-322, 18, 131, 185, 200. 

Daft, H. B.,- 265. 

Daft, Richard, 14, 19, 25, 50, 60, 
70, 76, 78, 80, 83, 116, 118, 119, 
120, 124, 125, 134, 136, 225, 
226, 285, 286. 

Daily Telegraph, 52, 214, 252,. 


Dale, J. W., 60, 61, 62, 78, 82, 98. 
Dames, Longworth F., 321. 
Darling, J., 282. 
Darnley, Lord (Hon. Ivo Bligh),. 


Davidson, G., 185, 256. 
de Winton, E. S., 263. 
Dickinson, 300. 
Diver, E. J., 156. 
Dixon, J. A., 200, 266, 272. 
Draper, H., 114. 
Duff, R., 296. 
Dyer, 301, 310. 

Easton, A., 42. 

Edwards, J. D., 194. 

Emmett, Tom, 37, 38, 51, 58, 
69. 83, 95, 96, in, 116, 118, 
119, 125, 133, 134, 136, i40 r 
150, 169, 182, 192, 198, 268. 

Evans, A. H., 138, 152. 

Evans, E., 183. 

Evans, F. R., 33. 

Eyre, C. H., 306. 

Fairbanks, W., 125, 168, 178. 
Farrands, F. H., 86, in, 151, 

205, 207. 

Faulkner, G. A., 305. 
Fellowes, J., 114. 
Fellows, Harvey, 289. 
Ferris, J. J., 155, 193, 207, 209,. 

238, 241, 287. 

Ferris, Sam, writes 339-340. 
Field, F., 281. 
Fielder, A., 297. 
Fillery, R., 125. 



FitzGerald, Captain Keane, 87. 
FitzGerald, R. A., 5, 49, 85, 87, 

88, 89, 113. 

FitzHardinge, Lord, 71, 136. 
Flowers, W., 129, 173, 175, 179, 

185, 190, 195, 200, 203, 215. 
Foord, Kelcey W., 118, 352. 
Forbes, Walter F., 38. 
Ford, F. G. J., 14, 352. 
Ford, W. J., 199. 
Foster, R. E., 295. 
Fowler, Gerald, 249. 
Fowler, W. H., 160, 352. 
Francis C. K., writes 61-66, 85 

88, 97~ 101 . 344-349, 5, 61, 352. 
Freeman, George, 37, 51, 58, 69, 


Fun, 101. 
Furley, J., 125. 

Gale, Fred, 148, 149, 284. 
Gale, Percy G., writes 308-311. 
Garrett, T. W., 158, 183. 
Geeson, F., 306. 

George V, H.M. King, 282, 352. 
Giffen, George, 159, 183, 218, 

220, 235, 261, 270. 
Gilbert, W. R., 101, 106, 122, 

124, 129, 137, 154, 234, 286, 


Gilman, J., 307. 
Gladstone, W. E., 50, 290. 
Gordon, Sir Home, writes 12-23, 

130, 182, 352. 
Gordon, C. S., 59. 
Grace, Dr. Alfred, 345. 
Grace, E. M., 5, 25, 26, 27, 28, 

33, 34, 35, 4i, 42, 55, 79, 94, 
96, 97, 100, 108, 130, 136, 145, 
146, 151, 152, 154, 155, 159, 
162, 163, 170, 180, 185, 186, 
197, 200, 211, 217, 225, 230, 
233, 241, 268, 283, 289, 345. 

Grace, G. F., 6, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 
36, 38, 61, 65, 68, 74, 77, 78, 
80, 92, 93, 95, 101, 105, 108, 
no, 116, 122, 123, 124, 126, 
136, 137, 139, 145, M8, 154, 
283, 345, 346, 347- 

Grace, Dr. Henry, 30, 55, 56, 
154. 155, 230, 231, 245. 

Grace, Dr. H. M., 24. 

Grace, Mrs. Martha, 25, 26, 36,. 

Grace, W. G., jun., 72, 207, 238, 

239, 240. 

Grace, Mrs W. G., 72, 101, 287. 
Graham, H., 235. 
Great Golfers, 333. 
Green, C. E., writes 67-73, 14, 

49, 58, 276, 349, 352. 
Green, 240. 

Greenwood, A., 84, 101, 106, 149. 
Greenwood, Luke, 97, 108, 113, 


Gregory, D., 106, 128, 132. 

Gregory, S. E., 225, 260. 

Griffiths, G., 84. 

Grundy, J., 47, 48, 67. 

Gunn, J., 294, 299. 

Gunn, W., 190, 200, 201, 202, 

203, 209, 210, 216, 224, 235, 


Hadow, E. M., 179. 

Hadow, W. H., 62, 85. 

Haigh, S., 272, 273, 278. 

Hall, James, 328. 

Hall, Louis, 190. 

Halliwell, E. A., 297. 

Hallows, J., 296. 

Hamilton, A. H., writes 343-345. 

Hardstaff J., 299. 

Harnett, George, 348. 

Harrigin, A. E., 299. 

Harris, Lord, writes 5-12, 147, 
263-264, 18, 65, 85, 86, 98, 99, 
114, 118, 145, 148, 149, 211, 
227, 232, 283, 349, 351. 

Harrison, G. E., 148, 149, 167. 

Hawke, Lord, writes 1-4, 65, 
J 59, 176, 190, 192, 202, 324, 
349, 351, 352. 

Hawkins, Rev. Walter, 328. 

Hayes, E. G., 299. 

Hayward, Dan, 186. 

Hayward, T., sen., 20, 65, 186. 

Hayward, T., jun., 14, 186, 256. 

Hearne, Alec, 237, 242, 250, 251, 
272, 297, 352. 

Hearne, G. F., 239. 

Hearne, G. G., 118, 129, 136, 190. 

Hearne, J. T., 261, 269, 272. 

Hearne, Tom, 40, 48, 142, 143. 


Heath, A. H., 112. 
Hedley, W. C., 211. 
Hemingway, W. M. G., 257. 
Henderson, R., 352. 
Hereford, Bishop of, 354 
Hewett, H. T., 14, 52, 246, 352. 
Hickton, W., 50. 
Hill, Allen, 109, in, 113, 117, 
118, 119, 120, 122, 123, 150, 

169, 195- 

Hill, Clement, 280, 281. 
Hill, V. T., 244. 
Hirst, G. H., writes 278, 3, 14, 

112, 265, 277, 294. 
Hiscock, R., 295. 
Hobbs, J. B., 14, 183, 270, 329, 


Holmes, Rev. R. G., writes 58. 
Hopkins, A. J., 296. 
Horan, T., 105, 131, 158, 159, 

Hornby, A. N., 38, 65, 83, 85, 86, 

98, 129, 150, 169, 175, 190, 

199, 249. 

Hornet, C. E., 156, 176. 
Howard, R. E., writes 338-339. 
Howitt, G., 48, 142. 
Huish, F. H., 352. 
Humphrey, R., 32, 33, 46, 47, 

48, loi, 155. 

Humphreys, Walter, 194, 206. 
Hunter, David, 278. 
Hunter, J. C., 342. 

Iddison, Roger, 76, 82, 84, in. 

Iliad, The, 354. 

Incog, in Lillywhite's Annual, 


Iredale, F. A., 260. 
Irish Field, The, 348. 

Jackson, Hon. F. S., 14, 169, 

256, 265, 266, 272. 
Jackson, J., 194. 
Jayes, T., 299. 
Jephson, D. L. A., 308, 311. 
Jessop, G. L., 80, 258. 
Jones, A. O., 116. 
Jones, E., 247, 263, 282. 
Jones, S. P., 149, 158, 159, 183, 

Jubilee Book of Cricket, 285. 

Jupp, H., 9, 10, 32, 33, 40, 46, 47, 
48, 51, 52, 82, 84, 95, 101, 102, 
113, 125, 133, 134. 

Kelson, G. M., 76. 

Kempe, J. A., 54. 

Kernahan, Coulson, 350. 

Key, K. J., 201, 262. 

King, J. H., 298, 299. 

Kingston, J. P., 274. 

Kipling, Rudyard, 219. 

Kirk, E. C., 307. 

Kitcat, S. A. P., 251, 352. 

Knapp, E. M., 96. 

Kortright, C. J., 265, 272, 273, 

Kotze, J. J., 297. 

Lacey, F. E., 99. 

Lambert, W., 48, 192. 

Lane, C. G., 70. 

Le Couteur, P. R., 36. 

Lee, F., 177. 

Lees, W., 299. 

Leigh, Hon. Chandos, 70. 

Leigh, T. A., writes 32. 

Leno, Dan, 325. 

Leveson-Gower, H. D. G., writes 

258-260, 329, 352. 
Lewisham, Lord, 190. 
Lilley, A. A., writes 280-282, 

272, 296. 
Lillywhite's Companion and 

Annual, 31, 45, 46, 57, 81, 104, 

130, 175, 235- 
Lillywhite, J., 12, 43, 46, 47, 68, 

69, 78, 79, 101, 106, 108, 109, 

120, 150. 

Lipscomb, R., 81. 
Lockwood, Ephraim, 37, 38, 78, 

95, in, 113, 119, 122, 124, 125. 
Lockwood, W., 237, 238, 242, 

265, 272. 

Lockyer, Tom, 47, 162. 
Lohmann, G., 14, 28, 64, 176, 

182, 185, 190, 201, 209, 215, 

216, 224, 261, 287. 
Londesborough, Lady, 180, 204. 
Londesborough, Lord, 164, 165, 

180, 204, 213, 347. 
London, Bishop of, 338. 



London, Lord Mayor of, 147. 
Lubbock, Alfred, writes 90-91, 

34, 46, 63, 85, 86, 89 
Lubbock, E., 85, 86, 87. 
Lucas, A. P., writes 148-150, 

20, 71, 125, 145, 173, 352. 
Lucas, E. V., writes 352-354. 
Lucas, F. M., 187. 
Lyons, J. J., 193, 209, 219, 220, 

235, 236 
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred, 10, 63, 

125, 136, 145, 149, 178, 199. 
Lyttelton, Canon the Hon. 

Edward, writes 139-143, 292. 

McAllister, Andrew, 93. 
McArthur, J. A. S., 325. 
Macdonald, Dr., 306. 
McDonnell, P. S., 132, 158, 172, 

194, 206, 217. 
MacGahey, C., 276. 
MacGregor, G. E., 216, 272, 352. 
M'llwraith, J., 183. 
Mclntyre, Martin, 17, 95, 101. 
Mclntyre, W., 75, 80. 
M'Kibbin, T. R., 261. 
MacLaren, A. C., 257, 272, 281. 
M'Leod, R., 220. 
Mace, Jem, 18. 
Magdalen, President of, 322 . 
Maitland, W. F., 33. 
Marchant, F., 251. 
Marshal, Alan, 298 302, 303. 
Martin, F., 224, 251, 287, 352. 
Mason, J. R., 251, 266, 272, 282, 

295, 321, 352. 
Massie, H. H., 158. 
Matthews, T. G., 84. 
Maxwell, Sir John Heron, 304. 
May, Phil, 309. 
May, P. R., 306, 307. 
Mead, W., 276, 97. 
Meade, 88. 
Midwinter, W., 105, 124, 129, 

130, 134, 147, 150, 151, 155, 

161, 167, 172. 

Miles, R. F., writes 55, 56, 59, 352. 
Miller, Audley, 303. 
Mitchell, F., 239, 266. 
Mitchell, R. A. H., 34, 68, 70, 

141, 142, 227. 
Moberly, W. O., 119. 

Mold, 195, 237, 242, 256, 258, 

Mordaunt, G. J., 265. 

Mordaunt, H. J., 211. 

Morgan, W. A., 342. 

Morley, F., 109, 113, 118, 120, 
125, 129, 134, 135, 136, 139, 
140, 141, 145, 147, 169, 174, 

Morris, 218. 

Mortlock, W., 61. 

Moses, H. H., 219, 220. 

Murch, W., 240, 244, 301. 

Murdoch, J. A., 183. 

Murdoch, W. L., 128, 132, 146, 
149, 158, 163, 205, 209, 210, 
266, 281, 296, 297, 307, 308, 

309, 310, 313, 335- 
Mycroft, W., 114, 125, 136. 
Mynn, Alfred, n, 12, 13, 284. 

Napier, G. G., 306. 
Nash, G., 145. 
Need, Philip, 294, 352. 
Nepean, E. A., 192, 204, 252. 
Newhall, C., 88. 
Newham, W., 206. 
News of the World, 343. 
Nichols, G. B., 246. 
Noble, M. A., 280, 282. 

O'Brien, Sir Timothy Carew, 36, 

191, 205, 215. 
Ottaway, C., n, 62, 66, 83, 85, 

86, 87, 88, 95. 
Oscroft, W., 101, 109, 113, 118, 

136, 139, 143. 
Owen, H. G., 71, 276. 

Page, H. V., writes 194-200, 117, 

168, 178, 204. 

Painter, 198, 199, 238, 251. 
Palairet, L. C. H., 20, 52, 246, 


Pall Mall Gazette, 274. 
Palmer, G. E., 132, 146, 158, 171, 

Paravicini, P. J. de, writes 178- 

182, 337-338, 344, i?7, 321, 

322, 336, 352. 
Pardon, S. H., writes 154-155, 


C C 



Parr, C., 86. 

Parr, George, 20, 25, 33, 142, 226. 

Pauncefote, B., 62. 

Patterson, W. S., 29, 125, 126. 

Patteson, T. C., 85. 

Patti, Madame Adelina, 50. 

Payne, Charles, 47. 

Pearson-Gregory, T. S., writes 

Peate, E., 3, 64, 148, 150, 151, 

159, 167, 169, 173, 175, 179, 

Peel, R., 3, 64, 175, 194, 195, 

201, 215, 216, 2 8, 256, 261. 
Penn, A., 150. 
Penn, Frank, 125, 136, 145. 
Perkins, Henry, writes 39-40, 59, 

34, 77- 

Perrin, P., 276. 
Philipson, H., 204, 216. 
Phillips, H., 78, 124, 185. 
Phillips, J., 196. 
Pickering, F. P. V., 85, 87. 
Pilch, Fuller, 8, 13. 
Pilling, R., 190, 201. 
Pinder, G., 77, 84, 96. 
Platts, J., 69. 
Plumb, T., 48, 61. 
Poidevin, L. O. S., 310. 
Pooley, E., 48, 52, 113, 121, 125, 

136, 153, 167, 169. 
Posno, Bernard, 204. 
Pougher, A. D., 215, 256. 
Powys, W. N., 82, 83. 
Preston, J. M., 192. 
Pullen, W. W. F., 211, 234. 
Punch, 129, 352-354- 

Quaife, W. G., 266, 299. 

Radclifie, O. G., 201, 210, 211, 

216, 238, 352. 
Randon, F., 114. 
Ranjitsinhji, K. S., 3, 8, 14, 19, 

73, 74, 227, 249, 260, 264, 266, 

280, 352. 

Rawlin, J. T., 190. 
Read, Maurice, 160, 190, 201, 

216, 236. 
Read, W. W., 154, 155, 160, 166, 

169, 175, 186, 190, 193, 197, 

210, 231, 246, 251, 259. 

Reedman, D., 218. 

Relf, A. E., 297. 

Rhodes, Wilfred, 183, 267, 272, 

289, 294. 
Rice, R. W., writes 257-258, 225, 

Richardson, Tom, 238, 252, 256, 

261, 265, 266, 267, 270, 282. 
Riddell, Sir George, writes 330- 

332, 337, 342, 352. 
Ridley, A. W., 114, 126, 129. 
Roberts, F. G., 205, 229, 231, 

238, 240, 244, 251, 262, 267. 
Roberts, John, 33, 354. 
Robertson, G. P., 102. 
Robertson- Walker, J., 234. 
Robinson, C. J., writes 243-247, 


Robinson, Sir Hercules, 105. 
Robson, C., 281. 
Roe, John, 345. 
Roe, W. N., 260. 
Rogers, J. A. R., 240. 
Roller, W. E., 176. 
Rosmead, Lady, 105. 
Rose, W. M., 85. 
Rotherham, Hugh, 179. 
Rowbotham, J., 97, 286. 
Royle, Rev. V. F., 136. 
Russell, Lord Charles, 136. 
Rutter, E., 190. 
Rylott, A., 95, 109, 215, 287. 

Sainsbury, E., 26. 

Scott, Dave, writes 102-103, 216- 

Scott, H. J. H., 183. 

Scott/S. W., 234. 

Scotton, W., 183, 200. 

Selby, J., 136. 

Sellars, A., 255, 268. 

Sevier, Robert, 281. 

Sewell, E. H. D., writes 300-308. 

Sharpe, W 7 ., 215, 216, 287. 

Shaw, Alfred, wrote 136, 17, 33, 
50, 64, 75, 76, 80, 83, 95, 109, 
in, 113, 115, 116, 117, 118, 
120, 129, 134, 135, 136, 139, 
140, 141, 145, 169, 187, 216, 
.219, 223, 292. 

Shaw, Arthur, 122, 123. 



Shaw, J. C., 9, 17, 50/57,60, 74, 

75, 76, 77. 78, 79, 80, 94, 95. 
Shaw, V. K., 118. 
Sheffield, Lord, 216, 222. 
Sherwin, Mordecai, 190, 239. 
Shrewsbury, Arthur, 19, 120, 

125, 134, 137, 168, 175, 186, 

189, 190, 197, 200, 210, 216, 

235. 2 3 6 , 272. 
Shuter, J., writes 152-154, 155- 

157, 20, 169, 191, 193, 210. 
Shuter, L. A., 154. 
Silcock, F., 47, 51, 109, 285. 
Sinclair, J. H., 295. 
Smith, Ernest, 294, 321, 324. 
Smith, Miss M. K., 324. 
Smith, W. C., 300, 301, 306, 352. 
Southerton, J., 48, 76, 78, 97, 

101, 113, 133, 139, 169, 207, 

285, 292. 
Spofforth, F. R., writes 104, 130- 

132, 103, 106, 129, 130, 145, 

161, 172, 184, 196, 310. 
Spooner, R. H., 20. 
Sportsman, The, 254, 338, 350. 
Sprot, E. M., 298. 
Spry, 328. 
Stedman, A., 231. 
Steel, A. G., 14, 17, 99, 129, 133, 

135, 145, 146, 173. 177, 179, 
187, 199, 256, 286, 321. 

Stephenson, H. H., 77. 

Stoddart, A. E., 14, 180, 190, 191, 
192, 204, 207, 216, 219, 224, 
235, 236, 237, 242, 250, 256, 
266, 272, 277, 321. 

Storer, W., 261, 266, 272. 

Street, J., 50. 

Stuart Wortley, A., 12, 208. 

Studd, C. T., writes 173-174, 112, 
147, 167. 

Studd, G. B., 199. 

Summers, George, 60, 69, 70. 

Tarrant, F. A., 186, 194. 
Tatham, Canon, writes 121, 122. 
Taylor, J. H., 333, 334. 
Thewlis, John, 112. 
Thompson, G., 294. 
Thompson, W. T., 328. 
Thorns, Robert, 120, 149, 285. 

Thomson, E. A. C., writes 327, 

Thornton, C. I., writes 109-111, 

203-207, 14, 49, 58, 64, 65, 80, 

99, 177, *92, 215, 319, 352. 
Thornton, P. M., 112, 186. 
Times, The, no, 333. 
Toole, J. L., 164, 165. 
Townsend, C. L., 250, 262, 268, 

269, 272, 281, 283, 339, 351. 
Townsend, Frank, 123, 133, 136, 

178, 199, 228, 234, 287, 288, 


Trott, Albert, 299. 
Trott, G. H. S., 193, 210, 281. 
Troup, W., 277. 
Trumble, H., 210, 235, 261. 
Trumble, J. W., 183. 
Trumper, V., 14, 163, 270, 296. 
Tunnicliffe, J., 272. 
Turner, A. J., 276. 
Turner, Charles, 71. 
Turner, C. T. B., 155, 156, 193, 

194, 196, 204, 207, 209, 210, 

219, 235. 
Tyldesley, J. T., 14, 305. 

Ulyett, George, 109, 118, 120, 
126, 133, 134, 150, 167, 173, 
185, 190, 198, 199. 

Vardon, H., 157. 

Vernon, G. F., 129, 164, 211. 

Wales, H.R.H. the Prince of 

(King Edward VII), 254, 282, 

Wales, H.R.H. the Prince of, 

Walker, I. D., 32, 33, 60, 61, 62, 

68, 71, 98, 99, 109, 114, 173, 


Walker, J. G., 190. 
Walker, L., 295, 296, 308. 
Walker, R. D., writes 33, 35, 63. 
Walker, V. E., 41, 70. 
Walker, Whimsical, 205. 
Walker of Trent Bridge, 120. 
Ward, W., 13, 118. 
Warner, P. F., writes 267-270, 

105, 294, 351, 352. 
Warren, Algernon, writes 41-42. 



Warren, Henry, 298. 

Watson, Alec, 133/145, 176, 177. 

Watt, Killigrew, 42. 

Watts, 215. 

Webbe, A. J., writes 115-117, 

71, 113, 119, 120, 129, 149, 

190, 191, 214, 268, 321. 
Weigall, G. J. V., 352. 
Wells, L; S., 274. 
Welman, F. T., 352. 
Westminster Gazette, 53. 
Westmorland, Lord, 345, 346. 
Whitehead, Rev. A. Goram, 

writes 340. 

Wickets in the West, 88. 
Wild, F., 129, 136, 167. 
Wilkinson, A. J., 76. 
Willsher, E., 43, 47, 76, 80, 96, 

109, no, 285. 

Wilson, G. L., 255. 

Wilson, Leslie, 201, 232. 

Winterbotham, A., 228. 

Wisden, 217, 218, 264, 278, 279. 

Wood, C. J. B., 295. 

Woodcock, 265. 

Woods, S. M. J., 193, 250, 265, 


Woof, W. A., 151, 194, 200, 202. 
Wootton, F., 182. 
Wootton, G., 33, 47, 48, 51, 60, 

66, 75. 

Wright, Walter, 151, 251. 
Wrathall, EL, 269. 
Wynyard, Capt. E. G., 260, 272. 

Yardley, W., 20, 51, 62, 82, 95. 

Yorkshire Cricket, His ory of, 58. 
Young, 347. 

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